Municipalities can take the initiative to put locks on toilets that are accessible with a Euro-key. In this case, one or more toilets within the municipality that are accessible from the outside (i.e. do not require entering a building in the first place) are fitted with a lock that can be opened with a special key: the Euro key.
The Euro key can be used on any toilet with a matching lock. This makes it possible for people with a key to access toilets with a matching lock throughout the Netherlands, but also in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Spain, for example. In total, there are over 10,000 locations throughout Europe to which the Euro key provides access. The first Dutch municipality to equip its toilets with a Euro-key is Deventer.
This special key can be requested by people who need access to a toilet 24/7 via a special web form, which can be found on this website. A fee of €22.50 is charged. A person living in a municipality that facilitates the Euro key can also apply for the Euro key at his/her own municipality (the price can vary, for example the amount charged by the municipality of Deventer is €10). The Euro key is only sold to the elderly above 70 years and persons with a physical handicap or function limitation such as:
Mobility scooter or wheelchair users
🔑 People with visual impairment
🔑 People with chronic intestinal or urinary tract problems
When you apply for the key, it is necessary to provide a piece of evidence that you fall under one of these target groups.
In order to make these special locations also accessible for people outside these categories, the key is in some cases facilitated in such a way that it can be collected free of charge on loan from a nearby location such as a tourist office or library. Of course, one should then think about a way to ensure that the key is returned. For example, by transferring a sum of money or an item as collateral.
In the HogeNood app you can recognise a location with a Euro key by the key icon next to a wheelchair accessible toilet (similar to the image in this article).