In Brussels, 7 November 2016 – The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) is launching a new Campaign ‘EU Funds for Our Rights’ to advocate for a better monitoring and complaints system for the use of EU funds in relation to transition from institutional care to community living for disabled people. The Campaign starts tomorrow, on 8 November, during an event in the European Parliament hosted by MEPs Helga Stevens and Marek Plura.
The aim of the ‘EU Funds for Our Rights’ Campaign is to encourage the European Commission and the Member States to improve the monitoring and complaints system, in order to ensure that the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are used to support the rights disabled people in the EU, rather than restrict them. Between 2007 and 2013, more than 150 mil EUR were invested into building and maintaining institutions for disabled people. Since 2014, while progress has been made, many services supported by ESIFs continue to segregate disabled people, albeit in smaller settings, and fail to facilitate their social inclusion.
The ‘EU Funds for Our Rights’ Campaign will focus on the role of ESIFs in supporting the right to live independently and being included in the community, set out in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). During the coming year, the Campaign will build the capacity of local NGOs, identify gaps in the monitoring and complaints systems and raise awareness about the importance of using EU funds to support the development of community-based alternatives to institutional care.
A long-term objective of the Campaign is the amendment of the ESIF Regulations 2021 – 2028 to ensure that the monitoring and complaints systems in place lead to full compliance with the CRPD.
The campaign is supported by the Open Society Foundations – Mental Health Initiative.
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For more information about the Campaign, please contact Natasa Kokic, Campaign Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org