EU Funds – Providing technical assistance to national bodies with a human rights remit involved in assessing EU Charter & CRPD compliance of EU funds

About the Project

Research Topic & Roadmap

European Union funds form a significant share of the resources spent in the areas of cohesion, social inclusion, regional development, security and migration management and they are regulated by a set of common provisions. For the funding period of 2021-2027 a new set of common provisions, the Common Provision Regulation (CPR, Regulation EU 2021/1060) foresees that Member States must integrate so-called enabling conditions throughout their national funding cycles.

Compliance with the principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are established as horizontal enabling conditions. Our team of researchers together with a colleague of the European Centre for Social Welfare and Policy Research was contracted to provide insights and recommendations from European perspective on the potentials of an involvement of national bodies with a human rights remit (NHRIs, ombuds institutions and equality bodies) in assessing EU Charter and CRPD compliance of EU funds.

Research Focus

The project focuses on the following points:

  • How does the EU funding cycle at the national level look like? Which would be potential entry points for national bodies with a human rights remit (NHRBs)?
  • How are the standards and rights of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the UNCRPD referred to in the programming documents and what have been the experiences in practice in the previous funding cycles?
  • What are the relevant standards of national bodies with a human rights remit, their mandates and their tasks and what are their formal and practical possibilities to intervene?
  • What role did NHRBs play in the previous, 2014-2020 funding period to ensure fundamental rights compliance and what were the main issues?
  • Which role could NHRBs play in monitoring EU funds in the future, what would be their potentials and challenges?

Research Method

A desk research will build the base for a summary of existent literature and views of academia, civil society, international organisations and other stakeholders on the human rights conditionality of EU funds, previous experiences in this regard as well as potentials for NHRBs. It also seeks to identify stakeholders for the interview phase, which will include current and former EU officials, representatives of NHRBs and international organisations, as well as from civil society and academia. The main findings of these interviews will be compiled in an interview report, outlining challenges and critical success factors and providing brief policy suggestions to strengthen NHRBs in playing a more active role in the EU funding cycle.

Project Data