Millions of people with disabilities will face difficulties to cast their vote in the EU Parliament elections

Legal, administrative and accessibility barriers can prevent millions of voters with disabilities from taking part in elections finds the latest research from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

Today in Vienna, FRA published its latest report on “The right to political participation of persons with disabilities: human rights indicators”. The report analyses data on the situation of political participation of people with disabilities collected from across the 28 European Members States by FRA and the European Commission. The research compiles a set of indicators showing that several millions Europeans who could cast their vote, will find legal, administrative and accessibility barriers to fully participate in the EU Parliament elections.

There are 80 million people with disabilities in the European Union. One in four families in the EU includes a person with a disability. Still, the absence of reliable and comparable data about people with disabilities’ experiences of taking part in elections in the EU will affect a considerable number of Europeans called to cast their vote.

The report reveals that in most of the EU Member States, people with disabilities are active citizens, more keen to participate in political life than the rest of the population if given the right opportunities. These means, that people with disabilities are keen to be involved in political life, whether standing for elected office, joining a political party, or following political news in the media. However, the data also reveal that significant challenges remain which affect some people with disabilities more than others. These challenges are grouped under four key themes, in which 28 human rights indicators assess the political participation of people with disabilities in the EU:

  • Lifting legal and administrative barriers;
  • Increasing rights awareness;
  • Making political participation more accessible;
  • Expanding opportunities for participation.
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