Alzheimer Europe has submitted a response to the European Commission’s call for evidence on the proposed EU Disability Card. The card aims to facilitate free movement for people with disabilities in the EU. With the card, disability status recognised in one EU country should be recognised in others too, giving the holder access to preferential conditions for some services across the EU. It aims to build on the 2019 pilot project on the EU Disability Card (covering culture, leisure, sport and transport) and apply to a wider range of services. Alzheimer Europe welcomed the introduction of a European Disability Card, believing that such a measure has the potential to address some of the barriers faced by persons with disabilities across Europe, including persons living with an “invisible” disability, such as dementia. However, our response also outlined how long longstanding issues with the EU parking card for people with disabilities (i.e. the Blue Badge Scheme), were likely to be replicated by the EU Disability Card Scheme.
Alzheimer Europe expressed concern that despite all EU Member States being signatories of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons of Disabilities (UNCRPD), the recognition of dementia as a disability varies across member states. Alzheimer Europe further noted that the proposals would not address issues of national eligibility criteria, national definitions of disability or issuing procedures, which would result in the scheme failing to achieve its objectives (especially those related to the UNCRPD and the Sustainable Development Goals), due to significant variations in implementation. In support of the objectives of the Disability Card, Alzheimer Europe highlighted that Petri Lampinen, a member of the European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD) from Finland, had taken part in the pilot project for the European Disability Card in 2019, and had written positively about his experience using the card. Our full response is available at: