European Structural Funds

European Structural and Investment Funds can make a difference in European countries for persons with disabilities in improving accessibility, fighting poverty and social exclusion and increasing education and employment opportunities among other things.

Strong rules are in place covering the period 2014-2020 and EDF and its members are actively engaged for a correct implementation and monitoring of these rules both at national and European level. Under these rules, no project co-funded with European money can promote discrimination against people with disabilities or other groups of citizens, and no money can be invested in building or renovating institutional care settings.

The EU institutions and the Member States are currently negotiating the wording of regulations for the period 2021-2027, as well as the budget allocated to each of the funds under the EU’s new Multiannual Financial Framework. In the last years, EDF worked extensively in advocating for strong provisions in these regulations regarding accessibility requirements, prohibiting investment in institutional care, a commitment to ambitious investment for social inclusion and strong non-discriminations clauses with regards to persons with disabilities.

EDF actively contributes to the work of the Social Platform work on structural funds, raising awareness of disability related provisions. We also advocate on the use of funds through the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-Based Care.

EDF and its members’ worked on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) paying particular attention to the misuse of structural funds.

EDF supports its members’ work at a national level, and facilitates exchange among its members through an email expert group on the Funds.

Which regulations do we work on specifically?

Common provision Regulation (CPR): The Common Provisions Regulation is a piece of over-arching legislation that applies to various EU funding programmes, including the European Social Fund + and the European Regional Development Fund. It outlines rules that must be followed for the use of funds. It also outlines the criteria by which projects must adhere to be eligible for EU funding.

European Social Fund Plus (ESF+): The Social Fund Plus is essentially funding that will go toward different EU Member States to promote principles of social inclusion, provide a helping hand to youth, foster social inclusion and innovation, and will ultimately help further the integration of marginalised persons in the EU.

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): The European Regional Development Fund invests in infrastructure, innovation and research, the digital agenda, support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the low-carbon economy. The aim is to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions.