On 29 and 30 May 2018, the European Commission (EC) released its proposed financial regulations for the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (EU) on Regional Development and Cohesion Policy and the European Social Fund+ (ESF+) for the 2021-2027 Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF).
The proposed regulations provide a path for the promotion of equal opportunities for all, non-discrimination and social inclusion, by committing to leave no one behind. The proposed regulations prioritise the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights through targeted actions and a strengthened link with the European Semester process. In the EC proposal, ESF+ investments should be closely aligned with Country Specific Recommendations and country analysis provided under the Semester. In addition, the ESF+ will contribute to the overall objective of smart, inclusive and sustainable growth beyond 2020, a clear reference to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The proposed regulations reflect the EC’s commitment to foster the transition from institutional to community-based care through targeted investments in the period 2021-2027. The ESF+ and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) regulations foresee that thousands of children, persons with disabilities, persons with mental health problems, homeless people and their families will have access to community-based social services and thus will be included in the community.
Acknowledging the crucial role that the EU has already played in championing the issue of deinstitutionalisation, we are looking forward to working with the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to ensure that the EC’s commitment of leaving no one behind is realized.
For this, the EEG has four main demands:
Increase to 30% of ESF+ earmarked for social inclusion
Ensure that investments support deinstitutionalization reforms
Ensure access to funding is made conditional to promote the shift from institutional to community-based care
Strengthen the Partnership Principle and the European Code of Conduct on Partnership