Common Provisions Regulation (CPR or the Regulation) 2021-2027 is an over-arching Regulation that will apply to a number of key EU funds post 2021, including the European Social Fund + and the European Regional Development Fund. It outlines the rules that must be followed when using these funds. In 2019 and 2020 EUD advocated for the Regulation to include rules that would advance the rights of persons with disabilities. In December 2020 an agreement between the European Parliament and EU Member States in the Council on the final wording of the Regulation was reached.
EUD welcomes the agreement, as it included concrete rules which will ensure accessibility to and non-discrimination of persons with disabilities when using the EU funds.
The Article 67 of the Regulation specifies that the managing authorities must establish and apply criteria and procedures which are non-discriminatory, transparent and ensure accessibility to persons with disabilities. Moreover Article 6(a) of the CPR states that Member States and the European Commission must take actions to prevent any discrimination based on disability and obliges to take into account the accessibility for persons with disabilities throughout the preparation and implementation of programmes.
The Article 6 on partnership and multi-level governance also explains how different stakeholders will be included in selecting and monitoring how the funds are used. It specifies that this process should include “relevant bodies representing civil society, such as environmental partners, non-governmental organisations, and bodies responsible for promoting social inclusion, fundamental rights, rights of persons with disabilities, gender equality and non-discrimination”. It further explains that the Member States must allocate the funds ensure that such organisations have the capacity to undertake such tasks.
In the Recital 5 the CPR it is also highlighted that the EU Member States should respect the obligations of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and ensure accessibility in line with its Article 9 and in accordance with the Union law harmonising accessibility requirements for products and services (the European Accessibility Act). All these developments in the CPR are extremely positive.
The European Disability Forum developed an in-depth analysis of the CPR where you can find more about the post 2021 Common Provisions Regulation. We encourage you to read it here.