Study on the translation of Article 16 of Regulation (EC) No. 1083/2006 on the promotion of gender equality, nondiscrimination and accessibility for disabled persons, into Cohesion policy programmes 2007-2013 cofinanced by the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund

Article 16 of the General Regulation (No. 1083/2006) on the EU structural and cohesion funds covers three obligations: promotion of gender equality, non-discrimination, and accessibility for disabled persons. The requirement of integrating these obligations at each stage of the structural funds' implementation process (programme design, project selection, financial management, monitoring, evaluation, reporting, partnership) was a new and important aspect of the General Regulation. The study assessed to what extent Article 16 was reflected in cohesion policy programmes across the Member States and policy areas in 2007-2013 and presented some good practice examples. The expert team prepared the research methodology, selected the good practices, and collected quantitative and qualitative evidence of the implementation of the three aspects in the selected operational programmes. The study found, for example, that 7 in 10 operational programmes addressed equal opportunities only partially and mostly focused on one target group (such as people with disabilities or women migrants), whereas 8% integrated equal opportunities consistently and 22% - only declaratively.

The final report provided conclusions and recommendations on appropriate steps Member States and the European Commission could take to ensure Article 16 is translated into interventions co-financed by the EU funds at different stages of implementation. The team built a template for self-assessment, which can be used by programme authorities interested in reviewing the performance as regards Article 16. All the outputs are available on the DG Regio web-site.

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