Common Provision Regulation and ERDF for 2021-2027: the European Parliament supports civil society demands

The negotiations on the future budget of the European Union (2021-2027) are in full swing. After the proposal of the European Commission last year, the co-legislators (European Parliament and Council of the EU) are preparing their positions, before entering the trilogue process between Commission, Council and Parliament.

In the last few weeks the European Parliament (EP) made a few steps forward in adopting its position on the The Common Provision Regulation, of the European Regional Development Fund with positive developments for civil society.

Common Provisions Regulation is voted in EP Plenary.

On the 13th of February the EP Plenary adopted the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) Report of the Committee on Regional Development (REGI). The CPR proposal sets out common rules for seven shared management funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Asylum and Migration Fund, the Internal Security Fund and the Border Management and Visa Instrument.

COFACE Families Europe, in the framework of the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-Based Care (EEG-DI), advocated in the last months for a stronger Partnership Principle allowing a meaningful participation of civil society in the policy-making process, for giving priority in the use of funds to the transition from institutional to community-based care, for forbidding the use of European funds to finance any form of segregation and to include non-discrimination as an horizontal principle. All these elements are now included in the report thanks to the common efforts of the coalition and to the sensitivity of many Members of European Parliament.

European Regional Development Fund

On the 14th of February, the Committee on Regional Development (REGI) of the European Parliament reached an agreement on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund that will be then voted by the plenary.

Also in this case, the requests of the EEG-DI have been taken on board: the transition from institutional to family and community based care is back in the list of investment priorities; using of the fund for the construction of institutional care facilities that segregate or infringe on personal choice and independence is forbidden; local, regional and urban authorities, economic and social partners and representatives of civil society will be involved in the policy-making process; and the funds should promote the transition from institutional care to family and community-based care, in particular for those who face multiple discrimination. Investments under the ERDF, in synergy with ESF+, should contribute to promote social inclusion and fighting poverty in line with the obligations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to contribute to children’s rights.

This is a strong position from the European Parliament in view of the upcoming trilogues with the Council of the EU and the European Commission.

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