ENIL continues its campaign activities and is monitoring issues related to the use of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) in several Member States: Hungary, Slovenia, France, Portugal and Romania. This involves working together with national NGOs and with representatives of the European Commission (DG EMPL and DG REGIO). New countries are being added to the list regularly.
As the end of this programming period approaches (in 2020), more issues are being detected and ENIL is concerned about the overall situation in the EU. Apart from the challenges we set out in our Briefing on the use of EU Funds for Independent Living, we are regularly receiving information about projects that involve building or renovation of institutions, and those that claim to support Independent Living, but do not. We are also focusing on Belgium, which at the moment does not use ESI Funds for the transition from institutional care to community-based services. Our aim is to ensure that deinstitutionalisation is identified as an investment priority Post 2020.
We recently met with MEP Jean Lambert (Committee on Employment and Social Affairs) who expressed her strong support to our Campaign and to ENIL’s activities in general. We participated in two events: the seminar on “Financial Instruments Related to Disability”in Trier, organised by ERA (Academy of European Law) on 17thand 18thMay, and the ESI Funds for Healthworkshop in Prague on the 25thMay, where we presented the results of our monitoring efforts and encouraged Managing Authorities to invest in Independent Living.
We are currently getting ready for an internal event for NGOs taking part in the Campaign – scheduled in June – where we will discuss developments since our last meetings in the spring of 2017. We will also agree on our future joint actions, and have a discussion with the European Commission officials.
Finally, we will analyse the Commission’s proposal for the Post 2020 legislative package (the Common Provisions Regulation, the ESF+ and ERDF Regulations), a part of which was published this week. Our aim is to propose amendments to ensure ESI Funds cannot be used for services or facilities that do not comply with Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and that Member States use the money available to facilitate access to Independent Living.
To support our Campaign, please like our Facebook page. We also encourage you to report any cases where you believe ESI Funds are not used to support independent living, but to maintain institutional care, or where the Government is not complying with their obligation to involve civil society organisation in all stages of ESI Funds use.
If you would like to take part in the Campaign, or wish to know more about the activities, please contact the Campaign Coordinator Natasa Kokic at email@example.com.
[Photo shows sign saying ‘Institutions are No Solutions’]