Freedom of movement and disability
The right of citizens to mobility across national borders is at the heart of Nordic collaboration. The region introduced the freedom to travel without a passport back in the 1950s. But a right on paper does not mean that it is possible to exercise it in practice. Because of obstacles such as inadequate accessibility, differences in social security systems and access to aids, the freedom of movement for persons with a disability is limited.
Freedom of movement is one of the three focus areas in the Nordic Council of Ministers’ action plan for disability cooperation. One objective for activities in this focus area is to strengthen competence about disability perspectives among those involved in investigating and proposing solutions for cross-border issues. This will take place through two annual meetings with representatives from the Council of Nordic Cooperation on Disability.
Another objective is to boost competence in the area of collaboration on cross-border issues among the members of the Council of Nordic Cooperation on Disability.
Ultimately, the aim is to remove obstacles for people with disabilities in connection with mobility across borders.
Within this focus area, meetings are being organised to raise awareness of and draw attention to the disability perspective in collaboration on cross-border issues. In 2020, for example, a sign language and mobility meeting will be held.
Important insights after seminar on freedom of movement
There is a need for better information, harmonising rules and a summary of good examples. This emerged during the seminar on freedom of movement for persons with disabilities (only in Scandinavian languages).