The European Commission's proposal is being discussed

AH – 10/2023

Joost Korte, Director General for Employment and Social Affairs of the European Commission, presented on 19 September the proposal for a Directive on a European Disability Card and Car Park Card dated 6 September in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs in the European Parliament. According to the European Commission's ideas, the European Disability Card should ensure that the disabled benefit in future from special conditions when travelling to other Member States, such as entry concessions and easier access when parking. The mutual recognition of a disability recognised in one Member State is intended to extend the use of both cards to all Member States and to implement the objective of equal implementation of the rights of the disabled in the European Union (EU) (see also News January 2023). The European Commission's considerations are based on findings from an evaluated pilot project in which eight Member States participated.

These regulations should only apply in the case of a temporary stay, for example for tourists.

In the discussion with the MEPs, it was also made clear that the Directive on the EU Disability Card and the European Car Park Card is the only legislative dossier in this legislative period for the disabled.

The majority of MEPs welcomed this dossier but pointed out that there are still open questions with regard to the implementation of this Directive.

No encroachment on national rights

The Commission's proposal is without prejudice to the national rights of Member States to decide on the existence of a disability, the degree of severity and the need for an accompanying person. The issuing of a European Disability Card is to become obligatory under the Directive - in addition to the national ID card - and is to be carried out by the competent national authorities.  In the long term, the European Disability Card is conceivable as the only available document. An analogous procedure is used for the European Car Park Card.

Protection against malpractice and barrier freedom

The European Disability Card will initially be available in paper form and also in digital form in the long term. The Car Park Card, on the other hand, should only be available in physical form to prevent malpractice. Regulations for the issuance or withdrawal of ID cards must be made publicly accessible in accessible formats.

When can implementation be expected?

The Commission proposal is currently being discussed in the legislative process. If the proposal is adopted, Member States will have 18 months to transpose this Directive into national law. Director General Korte stressed that an adoption of the Directive before the European elections in 2024 is desired.