European Parliament votes for stronger rules governing post-2020 EU funds

As the EU’s multi-annual budget is being currently negotiated, the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development delivers a landmark vote on Common Provisions Regulation (CPR), key rules governing seven shared management funds such as the European Social Fund+, the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the Asylum and Migration Fund. In the 2021-2027 EU budget, they will serve as the main vehicle that helps to promote social rights, social inclusion and investing in children. Giving a green light to the updated regulations governing these funds means that they will have better synergies and better serve the needs of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion.

Although European Commission’s proposal for Common Provisions Regulation has already had a strong foundation for inclusive social protection and poverty reduction, the Parliament took CPR proposal a step further by putting forward a reinforced partnership principle and strengthened horizontal conditions that will ensure that funds are used in line with international human rights treaties and in a non-discriminatory way.

The vote for strengthened rules in CPR proposal confirms the commitment of EU institutions to support EU Member States and beneficiary countries in the enlargement and neighbourhood region to proceed with reforms that are in line with common values and objectives, such as respect for human rights and social inclusion. 

We welcome strengthened provision of Article 6 on Partnership Principle in the proposed Common Provisions Regulation. The new regulation empowers civil society and non-governmental organisations to meaningfully participate in the entire cycle of EU-funded programmes along with other key stakeholders. Strengthening the implementation of Partnership Principle in 2021-2027 funding period has also reflected our key ask detailed in recent recommendations ‘How the 2021-2027 EU budget can end the institutionalisation of children in Europe’. 

It is encouraging to see that MEPs have given relevant empowerment to the European Commission to update the European Code of Conduct on Partnership (ECCP). The Opening Doors evidence demonstrates that the ECCP was a breakthrough in the 2014-2020 funding period. It established a common set of standards to improve participation of civil society in the process of implementing the EU structural funds and supported civil society with influencing how the EU funds should be used to ensure best interest of children in Member States.

The Opening Doors for Europe’s Children campaign welcomes the alignment of future Common Provisions Regulation with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Recital 5). This will ensure that the rights of millions of children and people with disabilities across the EU will be respected when funds are used. The same Recital 5 includes the transition from institutional to family– and community-based care as a priority across all EU funds in all EU Member States in 2021-2027 funding period. This is a direct reflection of another key ask, detailed in the latest Opening Doors recommendations, meaning that the EU restates its commitment to deinstitutionalisation in 2021-2027 in both internal and external funding instruments.

We acknowledge strengthening of horizontal enabling condition in the updated CPR proposal with a new condition on non-discrimination (Compromise A6/2 on Article 6A) preventing any discrimination based on gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation throughout preparation, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation of EU-funded programmes.

Ahead of the European Council taking on concluding negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework at the end of 2019, we call upon national governments to make the necessary decisions and to follow the commitment of European Commission and the European Parliament in upholding strengthened rules that govern the EU funds in 2021-2027 EU budget. We call on the Council of the EU to maintain the updated proposal of the Common Provisions Regulation in the next steps of EU’s multi-annual budget negotiations.