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Failure of the European Commission to ensure that the Member States spend European Structural Investment Funds in line with the obligations stemming from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The case concerned the use of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI funds) for the construction of institutional care facilities for persons with disabilities in Hungary and Portugal. The complainant considered that the European Commission should have taken action with regard to these projects, as they are at odds with the EU’s obligations to ensure people with disabilities are supported to live in community-based settings.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission has so far acted in a satisfactory manner in order to ensure that national authorities comply to greatest extent possible with their legal obligations under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry. However, she will continue to monitor this important matter.