European Disability Card to be issued automatically to persons certified as disabled

European Disability Card to be issued automatically to persons certified as disabled

The European Disability Card (EDC) will be automatically issued to anyone who obtains a disability certificate from 1 January 2024, the federal minister responsible for people with disabilities, Karine Lalieux, announced on Wednesday at the end of an interministerial conference on disability.

The EDC certifies that the bearer requires special attention in areas such as sport, leisure and culture.

Partners taking part in this scheme undertake to offer cardholders a special welcome or service, whether in terms of accessibility, prices, specific assistance, etc.

Belgium has been running a pilot project to introduce the EDC since 2017 alongside Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Malta, Slovenia and Romania.

So far, only around 150,000 people have taken the necessary steps to obtain the card, whereas almost one million people with disabilities are recognised in Belgium. To rectify this situation, the card will be issued automatically as soon as the certificate of recognition of disability is obtained.

The interministerial conference also approved the Interfederal Disability Strategy 2021-2030, which aims to reduce institutional barriers in order to guarantee the rights of people with disabilities. This brings Belgium in line with the international requirements and commitments of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The strategy was defined with the participation of the advisory councils for people with disabilities set up at all levels of government, who worked together on a joint opinion based on the principle of “nothing about us without us.”

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