Parliament adopts EU-wide Disability and Parking Cards

  • Equal access to preferential conditions for persons with disabilities, such as priority access and access to reserved parking
  • European Disability Card to be issued and renewed free of charge
  • Those temporarily moving to another EU country to study also covered by the new rules

MEPs gave their final green light to the EU Disability Card and the European Parking Card for persons with disabilities.

The new rules, adopted with 613 votes in favour, 7 against and 11 abstentions and already agreed on by the Parliament and the Council, will establish an EU-wide disability card to make sure that persons with disabilities have equal access to preferential conditions, such as reduced or zero entry fees, priority access and access to reserved parking.

Both cards will grant card holders, as well as those accompanying them and assistance animals, access to most of the same conditions as national card holders. The new rules will only apply for short stays, with an exception for disability card holders that move to another member state for a mobility programme, such as Erasmus+.

European Disability Card

The European Disability Card will be issued in physical format and, when available, in digital format, and will be issued and renewed free of charge. Depending on the country, costs could be charged for loss and damaging the card.

European Parking Card for persons with disabilities

The European Parking Card for persons with disabilities will be issued in physical form. EU countries are encouraged to also issue the card in a digital format, and may choose to charge a fee for the administrative costs of issuing and renewing the card.

Access to information

The directive demands EU countries and the Commission to raise citizens’ awareness about the cards, including by setting up a central European website. This website will be linked to national websites, containing information on how to obtain, use and renew the cards and information on preferential conditions.

Third-country nationals in the EU

Parliament also endorsed the provisional agreement between Parliament and Council on the extension of the EU Disability and Parking Cards to third-country nationals legally residing in the EU with 607 votes in favour, 8 votes against and 17 abstentions.

This proposal extends both cards to third-country nationals legally residing in the member states, including asylum-seekers and stateless persons, and their personal assistants, regardless of their nationality.


Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová (Renew, SK), rapporteur, said: “The EU must advocate for equal rights for persons with disabilities within the EU. I am particularly proud that the cards will now cover certain stays longer than three months so that individuals with disabilities will have access to the card when they study abroad. The significance of the European Disability Card extends beyond simply facilitating travel; it embodies the EU’s commitment to ensuring free movement for all Europeans.”

Next steps

The agreed text will now have to be formally adopted by the Council, too, before publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and entry into force.

With the adoption of these proposals, Parliament is responding to citizens’ expectations on anti-discrimination, equality and quality of life, and inclusive labour markets, as expressed in proposals 29 and 14 of the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe.