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Will the EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework Post-2020 (MFF) be used to close human rights gaps in Europe?

Human rights are the field par excellence in which the EU can add value to the actions of individual Member States. This is the central argument in the position paper launched today by the UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe (OHCHR) on EU financing after 2020.

On 28 Feb 2018

The paper, which is entitled “European added value” – according to the principle that calls on the EU action where it can add value to the actions of its Member States –, examines the human rights risks and opportunities for the Multi-Annual Financial Framework Post-2020, also referred to as MFF Post 2020.

“The EU defines itself as a union of values. EU Member States have made human rights commitments. EU funding should match these commitments,” said Birgit Van Hout, UN Human Rights Regional Representative for Europe, at the launch of the position paper.

EU funding should be directed towards closing the gaps that human rights bodies have identified and for which they have provided clear guidance. The paper recommends a range of measures for the MFF to strengthen the EU’s efforts to support human rights advances.

Claude Cahn, UN Human Rights Officer said, “The EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework Post-2020 offers a unique opportunity for the Union to positively shape human rights outcomes in Europe. This opportunity should not be missed.”

The UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe also makes proposals for a number of concrete areas: reviving and invigorating civic space; strengthening diversity and inclusion and combating segregation in education, housing, health care and employment; enhancing the right to community living: persons with disabilities, children and older persons; combatting forced eviction and ending homelessness; and providing human rights-based alternatives to detention in the context of migration.

In preparing this position paper, the UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe benefitted from information provided by a range of civil society organisations. The organisations that have endorsed and wish to be affiliated with the positions it puts forward are listed in the publication.