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On Wednesday, the Committee on Regional Development in the European Parliament voted on the Common Provisions Regulation for EU Structural Funds (2014-2020), whereby they considerably weakened the sound proposal of the European Commission for a strong partnership in future funding programmes. This vote is of special consequence for SOLIDAR members as potential partners and implementers of programmes and projects under the European Social Fund or the European Regional Development Fund.
The adopted text, which gives a mandate for negotiating a first reading agreement with the Council, privileges local and regional authorities to other stakeholders in concluding partnership contracts. Amendments by other MEPs which intended to set all relevant and competent stakeholders on an equal footing were rejected. As a consequence, NGOs, social service providers, social partners and volunteering organisations will only have a secondary - if any - role in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects and programmes. Several MEPs complained about an untransparent process with little time for negotiations.
Together with its member organisations, SOLIDAR will follow the further development of the legislative report and the negotiations in the Council to keep the positive positioning achieved during last week’s vote in the Employment and Social Affairs committee and improve the paragraphs on the partnership principle.
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