Are people with disabilities elected to municipal governments?

Municipal governments make important decisions affecting local services and so it is important that people with disabilities are adequately represented within them. Many members of national parliaments begin their political careers at the local level and a low number of municipal government members with disabilities may indicate wider barriers to standing for electoral office.

This indicator did not seek to collect personal data, but to gather information on overall numbers of members of municipal governments who identify as having a disability. However, the analysis again found that there is very little systematic data available on this issue so the figure below highlights those Member States in which some data was found on the number of members of municipal governments identifying as having a disability.

Is data available on the number of members of municipal governments who have a disability in the EU Member States?

3 EU Member States have data available on the number of members of municipal governments who have a disability, 2 have some unofficial data avilable and 23 have no data identified

Source: FRA, 2014

Very limited data was identified that would give a reliable indication of the number or proportion of members of municipal governments with disabilities. Only in Croatia, Greece and the United Kingdom were sources of official data identified, while in Austria and Sweden the FRA’s analysis indicates the availability of some unofficial data. The most comprehensive data was available in the United Kingdom, where a census of local authority councillors by Local Government Association in 2010 indicated that 14 % of local councillors indicated that they had a long-term illness, health problem or disability that limited the daily activities or work they could do.

The disclosure of personal data about disability status may be more sensitive than data on gender but the systematic absence of equal opportunities monitoring raises concerns about the low extent of knowledge on the opportunities and barriers to elected office for people with disabilities.