In 2018, for the next EU budget, covering the 2021-2027 period, the European Commission proposed to update a Common Provisions Regulation (CPR). In December 2019 the Council of the European Union provisionally agreed on the parts of the text of the Common Provisions Regulation 2021-2027.
CPR 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 in the use of these funds. In 2019 EUD advocated for the Regulation to include rules that would advance the rights of persons with disabilities.
EUD welcomes the partial and provisional agreement on parts of the text, as it includes rules to ensure accessibility and non-discrimination. If the currently agreed wording remains in the final text, it will be a powerful tool to reduce the misuse of funds and assist Member States in implementing the UN Convention on the UN Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). The provisionally agreed CPR includes a new Article on horizontal principle which dictates that the Member States and the Commission must take steps to prevent any discrimination based on disability during the preparation, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation of funding programmes. It also requires that accessibility for persons with disabilities must be a criterion in the selection of operations by managing authorities. The provisionally agreed CPR also includes requirements to include civil society and NGOs in the partnership and multi-level governance process. Also, the Article that governs how EU funds must comply with the UN CRPD now specifies the need for a reporting mechanism to alert monitoring committees of any cases of non-compliance.
While this provisional agreement is very positive, other agreements on the other parts of the text still need to be reached. EUD highlights that while discussing other parts of the text of the CPR 2021 – 2027, it is essential to ensure that all of the agreements reached to date that protect the interests of persons with disabilities remain in the final text of the Common Provisions Regulation.