Your rights in the EU
Have you ever wondered what your rights are in the European Union as a person with disabilities?
Here you will find information on your rights as an European Union (EU) citizen or resident in the EU.
Do you know your rights in the EU?
Employment and Equal Treatment
EU Disability Card
Health Care Abroad
Higher Education and Traineeships Abroad
Rights as a perpetrator or victim of an offense
Social Security Benefits
Need help or advice?
Organisations and institutions who can help in cases of discrimination and/or human rights violations
National Enforcement Bodies (NEBS) for Passengers’ Rights
EU rules oblige the Member States to create “national enforcement bodies,” whose role is to verify that transport operators are treating all passengers in accordance with their rights. Passengers who believe their rights under the regulation have not been respected should contact the body in the country where the incident took place. There is a specific NEB for each of the Regulations on passengers’ rights.
Equinet – European Network of Equality Bodies
46 ‘equality bodies’ (national institutions from 34 European countries) that raise awareness, promote equality, and often handle complaints of discrimination across a range of grounds including age, disability, gender, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, and sexual orientation.
Your Europe Advice (YEA) by the European Citizens Action Service (ECAS)
EU advice service provided by legal experts from the European Citizen Action Service. Team of about 60 lawyers who cover all 24 official EU languages and are familiar both with EU law and national laws in all EU countries. Your Europe Advice replies to questions from citizens or businesses on their personal EU rights. The experts respond to the questions within one week, free of charge and in the language chosen by the user.
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
The EU’s centre of fundamental rights expertise. The Agency helps to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are protected. The Agency has done research and data collection on the rights of persons with disabilities on a range of issues.
Tel: +43 1 580 30 – 0 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Council of Europe
International organisation independent from the European Union, composed of 48 European countries. Since its establishment in 1949, the Council of Europe adopted several human rights treaties that also apply to persons with disabilities, such as the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Social Charter, and the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women.
Tel. +33 (0)3 88 41 20 00
European Commission – Your Europe
Advice for EU nationals and their families on travel, work and retirement, vehicles, residence formalities, education and youth, health, family, and consumers.
European Commission – Problems and Complaints
If you think your national government breached EU law, you can complain to the Commission.
European Parliament – Committee of Petitions
You can submit your own petition electronically or on paper, and provide information on petitions already received by the Committee. Your petition and information allow the Parliament to conduct a “reality check” on the way in which EU laws are implemented.
See also: Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament
Holding the EU accountable
- European Ombudsman
Independent and impartial body that holds the EU administration accountable for its actions. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in EU institutions, bodies, offices, and agencies. The Ombudsman may find maladministration if an institution fails to respect fundamental rights, legal rules or principles, or the principles of good administration.
European Ombudsman can only deal with complaints concerning the EU administration and not with complaints about national, regional, or local administrations, even when the complaints concern EU matters.
Tel. +33 (0)3 88 17 23 13 | Fax. +33 (0)3 88 17 90 62
European Court of Justice
The European Court of Justice interprets EU law to make sure it is applied the same way in all countries. The European Court of Justice also settles legal disputes between EU governments and EU institutions. Individuals, companies, and organisations can also bring cases before the Court of Justice if they felt their rights had been infringed by an EU institution.
European Court of Justice contact form
Tel + 352 4303 | Fax:+352 4303 2600
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an additional legal instrument to enforce the CRPD. The Protocol allows individuals and groups of individuals to complain to the CRPD Committee about situations in which their rights under the CRPD are not respected. 22 out of the 28 EU member states have ratified the Optional Protocol. The European Union has not ratified it yet.