EU funds Checklist to promote independent living and deinstitutionalisation

The “EU Checklist” has been updated according to the recently adopted texts of the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Funds + (ESF+), Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Therefore, this is an updated version of the previously published “Checklist to ensure EU-funded measures contribute to independent living by developing and ensuring access to family-based and community-based services”, in 2019. It has been written in cooperation with Hope and Homes for Children, and it aims to ensure many more EU citizens benefit from EU funding for inclusion; and to prevent the misuse of EU funds.

The purpose of this checklist is to ensure EU funds in the 2021-2027 programming period contribute to independent living and inclusion in the community. More specifically, the checklist supports desk officers to check the consistency of the measures with the legal and policy frameworks in the fields of:

  • Transition from institutional to family-based and community-based services for children, persons with
    disabilities, persons with mental health problems and elderly persons
  • Development of quality family-based and community-based services
  • Prevention of separation of children, including with disabilities, from their families
  • Prevention of segregation and institutionalisation of children, persons with disabilities, persons with mental health problems, older people and homeless people, regardless of the residence status.

Report on the Transition from Institutional Care to Community-Based Services in 27 EU Member States

In times of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-Based Care (EEG) published a Report on the Transition from Institutional Care to Community-Based Services in 27 EU Member States.

Upon a mandate from the European Commission and in consultation with the members of the EEG, the authors of the present Report, Jan Šiška and Julie Beadle-Brown, inquired how far the transition from institutional to family and community-based care and support has progressed in the past 10 years.

This Report offers a broad picture on situations, solutions and trends in deinstitutionalisation (DI) and community-living in the EU for persons with disabilities, with mental health problems, experiencing homeless, children (including children with disabilities and unaccompanied or separated migrant children), and older adults in 27 EU countries. Based on the findings, the Report furthermore highlights key concerns and potential solutions that have emerged from its analysis.

The Report comes at a critical juncture. The defining negative aspects of institutionalisation (the congregation of a large number of people in one building and the deprivation of social contacts) are increasingly blatant and only tend to aggravate with exposure to the virus. The way this crisis is affecting those who need daily care and their support systems stems from structural underinvestment in the inclusion and well-being of all, and in the promotion of different models of support in the community.

The EEG and its members are committed to continue their advocacy efforts and to support the EU, its Member States and other key actors in their deinstitutionalisation efforts and strongly encourages them to ensure that the rights of persons in need of care and support are not to further compromised by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toolkit on the use of EU funds

toolkit-coverThe Toolkit on the Use of European Union Funds for the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (or EEG Toolkit), a revised edition of which has been published in 2014, aims to explain how Structural and Investment Funds can support national, regional and local authorities in designing and implementing structural reforms aimed at facilitating the development of quality family-based and community-based alternatives to institutional care.

The EEG Toolkit is available in the following languages (alphabetical order):

The Annex of this Toolkit gives a detailed overview of the relevant provisions from the European Investment and Structural Funds Regulations 2014-2020. It is available in the  following languages: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Russian

Guidelines on transition from institutional to community-based care


The Common European Guidelines on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (or EEG Guidelines) published in 2012 provided practical advice about how to make a sustained transition from institutional care to family-based and community-based alternatives for individuals currently living in institutions and those living in the community, often without adequate support.

These guidelines are aimed primarily at Policy and decision makers in the European Union and the neighboring countries with responsibility for the provision of care and support services for children, people with disabilities and their families, people with mental health problems and older people.

The EEG Guidelines are available in the following languages (alphabetical order):

Report of the Ad-hoc Expert Group on the transition from institutional to community-based care (Špidla report)

In 2009, the EEG drafted a report after being convened by Commissioner Spidla to address the issues of institutional care reform in their complexity.

10“The work of the  Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care moves one step beyond the analysis offered by the studies. It offers not only rationale for change but also advice on how to achieve it (and also what to avoid), distilled from the experience acquired in those Member States where such reforms have already been carried out.

The Report provides an analysis of key challenges, followed by a set of Common Basic Principles and concrete recommendations to Member States and the European Commission.

In particular, it recommends to build those principles into all the relevant EU policies, including the next EU Disability Strategy (from 2010 onwards), as far as it regards the promotion of the right of all persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community.”