Pilot project launched in Malta for the European Disability Card
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During a conference organised by KNPD, details were announced for the pilot project of an InclEUsive Card, which aims to be a common document throughout Europe for people with disabilities to enable them to receive benefits and services.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Active Ageing Justyne Caruana, praised this initiative, especially given the fact that Malta is one of fifteen countries across Europe who submitted their commitment to implement this project.
The recipients for the grant that Member States could use to launch the pilot project are Belgium, Cyprus, Malta, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Romania, and Slovenia.
The Card not only gives people with disabilities recognition of status as they travel between participating countries, it also allows access to certain benefits in the areas of culture, leisure, transports and sport.
The Parliamentary Secretary said that through this project, Malta is an example to European countries in the implementation of these initiatives being taken in the disability sector. Dr Caruana explained that this document will be giving more independence and more recognition to the disabled.
She announced that the Parliamentary Secretariat will shortly be launching a consultation process on the National Policy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to precisely outline a series of measure to be implemented in a set timeframe.
She also pointed out that it is already on Parliament's agenda for a draft law to regulate the blue badge system.
According to the European Commission, it is estimated that currently 80 million people in the European Union have to cope with a disability in their everyday lives.
That is one in six people who are still facing far too many obstacles preventing them from fully exercising their rights and far too many barriers to meaningful participation in society and economy.
So, the EU's actions aim to establish a barrier-free Europe. Free movement of citizens is an integral component of the single market and a central component of its success.