Chapter 6: Political participation of people with disabilities in the EU
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The right to participate in political and public life is an integral element of active citizenship. Electoral participation, as well as non-electoral forms of political participation, are hindered in many circumstances for people with disabilities, and few people with disabilities hold political office. This is mainly due to the fact that individuals with disabilities face numerous legal and administrative barriers, as well as accessibility and institutional barriers, to participation in political and public life. In light of the obligations contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), this chapter briefly examines the various barriers to political participation experienced by citizens with disabilities in the European Union (EU), before outlining the current international and EU legal frameworks, including soft law initiatives, pertaining to political participation. The chapter therefore analyses the various initiatives that have been adopted at EU level since the entry into force of the CRPD, with a view to ensuring that people with disabilities can participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others and enjoy their rights to active citizenship. It then reflects on means of collective participation for people with disabilities in the EU policy sphere, before presenting future perspectives in the field and closing remarks.

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