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New FRA report on EU funds and fundamental rights compliance

New FRA report on EU funds and fundamental rights compliance

EU funds: Ensuring compliance with fundamental rights

The EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has published a report which examines the ways of ensuring compliance with fundamental rights in EU funded projects and programmes. The report focuses on the eight EU funds covered by the Common Provisions Regulation (EU) 2021/1060. The Regulation also lays down the conditions by which to ensure respect for fundamental rights in EU funded projects. In 2021, the EU introduced new conditions related to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The report looks at how these conditions can be upheld in practice. It also examines the role of national human rights institutions, equality bodies and ombudsperson institutions as well as civil society organisations in the programming, implementation and monitoring of EU funds.

The report makes practical suggestions on how EU Member States could make the Charter and CRPD-related conditions more effective. For example, fundamental rights experts could be involved explicitly throughout all stages of funding, in order to make better use of their expertise, data and findings. To ensure effective monitoring of EU funds the actors entrusted with this task should be provided with the necessary human, financial and technical resources. There is also a need to raise awareness of complaints mechanisms and to enhance their transparency and accessibility.

The report is based on desk research, national roundtables, and stakeholder interviews in 12 Member States: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia. The researchers at the Åbo Akademi University Institute for Human Rights contributed to the report by compiling data on Finland. The Finnish country report is available online on the FRA website.