The European Parliament has approved new regulations on the structural funds for 2014 to 2020 which support social inclusion and deinstitutionalisation of people with disabilities.
The structural funds (including the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund) provide funding to EU Member States to reduce the differences in the level of economic and social development across Europe.
The new regulation on the European Social Fund (ESF) dictates that at least 20 per cent of the total European Social Fund resources in each Member State must be allocated to promoting social inclusion, and combatting poverty and discrimination.
The regulation shows specific support for social inclusion of people with disabilities, stating that “The ESF should support the fulfilment of the obligation under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with regard inter alia to education, work and employment and accessibility.
It also explicitly supports deinstitutionalisation of people with disabilities, stating that “The ESF should also promote the transition from institutional to community-based care. The ESF should not support any action that contributes to segregation or to social exclusion.”
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