The European Disability Forum (EDF) is pleased to invite you to follow the launch of its 6th edition of the Human Rights Report focused on the rights of persons with disabilities to vote and to stand as candidate in the EU elections. The report explores and compares the legal and practical barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from exercising the same political rights as other EU citizens.
The European Parliament elections take place every five years and constitute one of the largest democratic undertakings worldwide. However, there are disparities across Member States regarding equal opportunities among citizens to participate in these elections; these disparities are even greater in the case of persons with disabilities.
In the last EU elections in 2019, approximately 400,000 persons with disabilities in 14 EU countries were deprived of their right to vote. Many more did not participate in the elections because these were not accessible to them, because they could not vote independently and in secret, or because they could not choose the person to assist them to vote.
With the European elections of 2024 approaching, EDF launches this Human Rights Report with the aim of raising awareness among EU and national policy makers of existing good policies and practices that underpin the equal participation of persons with disabilities in political life.
In this event we will
- Present up-to-date information on the legal and practical barriers to voting and standing as a candidate in the European Parliament elections.
- Examine the different measures put in place to ensure equal access and opportunities in the European Parliament elections, with a focus on accessibility, alternative ways of voting, the secrecy of vote and free choice of assistance to vote.
- Highlight specific cases that have brought about substantial change to the democratic rights of persons with disabilities.
The event will be moderated by Catherine Naughton, EDF Director
- 14:00 – Housekeeping
- 14:05 – Welcome remarks by Pat Clarke, EDF Vice President
- 14:15 – The EU elections and the right to vote and stand for election of persons with disabilities, Armin Rabitsch, Elections Watch EU
- 14:30 – Equal access to EU elections. secrecy of the vote, and free choice of assistance, Alejandro Moledo, EDF Head of Policy
- 14:45 – Q&A
- 15:00 – Break
- 15:10 – Irena Moozova, Director for Equality and Union citizenship in the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST) and chair of the European Cooperation Network on Elections
- 15:20 – Panel discussion. Cases bringing change
- Dovile Juodkaite, LNF, Lithuania
- Cyril Desjeux, Scientific Director Handéo, France
- Thorkild Olesen, DPOD, Denmark
- Jurij Toplak, professor at Alma Mater Europaea and visiting professor at the Fordham Law School in New York, Slovenia
- Rui Coimbras, Cerebral Palsy – European Communities Association (CP-ECA)
- 15:55 – MEP Domènec Ruiz Devesa
- 16:00 – End of the event
The event also be live-streamed on our Facebook page from 14:00 CEST.
This event will provide International sign interpretation and real-time captioning in English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Automatic captions in another language can be requested through the registration form.