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The 18th of May, the European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly published a long-awaited report on the cohesion policy of the European Commission for the period 2014-2020. This policy provides the general financing framework that will lead to the disbursement of structural funds in the different regions of the member states. It is meant to follow two principal axes: the creation of jobs, as well as the reduction of poverty and social exclusion. If it is still impossible to foresee if the first objective will be achieved, the European Ombudsman raised the different points that show a clear violation of the second one: according to her, several measures taken by the Commission infringe the rights of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.
More precisely, the report mentions several discriminations in the financed projects: they will generate if achieved social segregation towards vulnerable population, in that case, the disabled persons and Roma people. Besides, the access of European financing for associative local projects proves to be much more difficult for women associations, especially regarding projects promoting job creation. According to O’Reilly, these projects « are not compatible with great values of the Union that are rights, freedom and principles contained in the Charter ».
To palliate that lack of respect of fundamental rights, the European Ombudsman published several proposals regarding the cohesion policy. The principal measures would be the conduct of in-depth investigations on the ground by agents of the Commission that would determine with precision the real finality of the financed projects, and the creation of a platform in which members of civil society could complain.
See the European Ombudsman’s report.