The annual meeting of our EU Funds for Our Rights Campaign took place on 15 November. Due to the situation with COVID-19, the meeting took place online, like the last year.
The meeting was attended by representatives from 11 EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain, and a representative of the Open Society Foundations.
The meeting was the opportunity to update everyone about the activities undertaken since our last meeting in November 2020, and to discuss current and future actions, as well as the challenges we are facing in our work.
We provided an update as regards our complaints on EU funds’ investments into institutions to the European Commission and our reactions to European Commission’s replies. It is worrying that the complaint system is set up in such way that the European Commission has one year to process a single complaint. During that time, projects we are complaining about are being developed – i.e., the institutions are being built. On the other hand, answers to the European Commission’s pre-decisions, and additional evidence, must be provided within a month.
As every year, representatives from a number of Member States provided updates on worrying situations in their countries when it comes to the use of EU funds and independent living. These will be used, along with additional evidence, to put together a Shadow Report on Article 19 for the second review of the European Union by the CRPD Committee next year. This will be the focus of our joint work in the coming year.
We will also continue with other joint actions with our members and allies, such as complaints, together aiming to tackle the problem of segregation of disabled people around Europe and finding solutions. If you would like to take part in our Campaign or have any information about EU Funds being used to institutionalise disabled people in your country, please contact the Campaign Coordinator Natasa Kokic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This meeting was dedicated to Kapka Panayotova, ENIL’s former President and a key member of our EU Funds for Our Rights Campaign.