“I am Andrej from Latvia, can disabled people get free public transport across the European Union and what kind of papers do they need to present to officials on the bus or train?”
Stig Langvad is a member of the European Disability Forum Board:
“There is no possibility for persons with disabilities to use public transport without paying in all the European countries. So in many countries, persons with disabilities pay for their tickets.
Sometimes they get discounts, sometimes they get it for free, and then they have to use some kind of document showing that they have a disability and those documents can vary from country to country.
In all countries, we have some organisations representing persons with disabilities.
I think it is important to realise that when persons with disabilities want to travel across Europe it is often very difficult because of lack of access, but also because of a lack of harmonised ways of paying. So we are pushing the European system to harmonise and make opportunities equal across disabilities and across all countries.
The European Commission is definitely aware of our political attitude, of our political desires. And the European Parliament is also aware of that. But the Council of Ministers, the national member states, are not very keen to do this because they think that it will be more expensive and they don’t want to spend money in the disability field. So we have to approach our national governments.
There are many differences across European countries. I think if I should say which countries are the best I would probably say Spain and Germany they have better standards, they are better to comply with European legislation, but basically, it is about attitude, and I think that the attitude towards persons with disabilities .
in Germany and in Spain, for instance, is better than it is in some other countries.”
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