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Publication date:29 April 2014

The right to political participation of persons with disabilities - Summary

The report analyses data on the situation of political participation of persons with disabilities collected from across the 28 European Union (EU) Member States by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Commission-funded Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED).


The project aims to further develop and populate indicators on the right of people with disabilities to political participation. This right is guaranteed by Article 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and is protected under EU law. The indicators will be populated through the collection and analysis of relevant data, as well as promising practices, across all EU Member States. 

FRA develops and applies indicators following the OHCHR indicator model of structure, process and outcome indicators.FRA develops and applies indicators following the OHCHR indicator model of structure, process and outcome indicators.

The project results will be published before the European Parliament elections in May 2014. 


Previous FRA research showed that people with disabilities whose legal capacity has been restricted or removed are unable to vote in a number of Member States. It also showed that many people with disabilities face barriers to participation in community life which affects the fulfilment of their rights, as enshrined in the CRPD. The results of this project will allow FRA to provide evidence-based advice on how to remove barriers to political participation for people with disabilities. The project contributes to the work of the European Union’s CRPD Monitoring Framework, which is composed of the European Parliament Petition’s Committee, the European Commission, the European Ombudsman, the Fundamental Rights Agency and the European Disability Forum.  


The project involves desk research across all EU Member States through FRA’s research network, FRANET. The research collects data and information, such as: the legal situation of persons with disabilities with regard to their right to political participation; policies to promote or protect the right to vote; and experiences of political participation by people with disabilities. Existing comparative data from EU surveys will also be analysed.