People with Disabilities and Rare Diseases Contest European Elections

A new political group representing people with disabilities and rare diseases has presented itself to the European elections today May 25. 

Besides the large, well-known parties, there are aspiring minority party candidates like the Movimiento Red (Network Movement), Primavera Europea (European Spring), VOX, Podemos (We Can), and Recortes (Cutbacks). Additionally, this year a new alternative has been launched, called the Association of Voters with Disabilities and Rare Diseases-DER [es]. Their main objective is not to defend any ideology, but rather improve the quality of life for people living with a disability or rare disease. 

Eduard Carreras, cabeza de la agrupación DER

Eduard Carreras, head of the DER.

“We are a group of people affected, directly or indirectly, by a disability or rare disease, united by a common goal — improving the lives of those affected,” said Eduard Carreras, the group's candidate, a 25-year-old young man from Girona, Spain, suffering from degenerative muscular dystrophy.  

The electoral platform [es] centers on issues like employment, since they affirm that young people with disabilities have an unemployment rate that exceeds 60%, thereby preventing their autonomy and independence. It also focuses on full accessibility in transportation and public spaces, total VAT exemption for services like adapted vehicles or medicine, increasing research on rare diseases, and improving, among other things, health, education, and social inclusion of those affected. 

They do not defend nor reject any party or ideology. Their only purpose is to defend their electoral platform, which according to Carreras, is “the only certain common goal that unites us”. He added: “We are not a party as such. We do not have an ideology, which is why our path is different from the major parties.” 

Carreras has assured that “the money should go to important things” and for now they have already shown that after getting the 15,000 signatures required to present themselves at the elections, they have not spent a penny on advertising. He explains:  

Vamos a intentar convencer de que es necesario actuar rápido y tomarse en serio nuestros problemas, y vamos a denunciar a todo el que ponga obstáculos. Si nuestras propuestas son rechazadas, serán los que las rechacen quienes tendrán que justificarse ante sus ciudadanos. Estamos dispuestos a sumar, y serán bienvenidos quienes se sumen a nuestras propuestas.

We are going to try to convince you that it is necessary to act fast and take our problems seriously, and we are going to denounce everything that imposes obstacles for this. If our proposals are rejected, those who reject them will have to justify themselves before their citizens. We are willing to join efforts with others and welcome those who will join our proposals. 

Below is a video about the vision and missing of the new Association of Voters with Disabilities and Rare Diseases group [es]:  

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