NGOs take European Commission to court for Funding Segregation of PWD in Bulgaria

In November, for the first time in history, three disability rights organisations have initiated Court proceedings against the European Commission for failing to halt EU infrastructure funding being used by Bulgaria to build institutions for persons with disabilities. The case, pending before the EU General Court in Luxembourg, challenges the Decision of the European Commission not to suspend EU funding to Bulgaria. 

Earlier this year, the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL), Validity Foundation (Validity) and the Center for Independent Living (CIL) called on the Bulgarian Government to immediately suspend a programme which will channel European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) into the building of a large number of institutions for people with disabilities and older people. 

Having failed to get the suspension by the Managing Authorities, the applicants turned to the European Commission to suspend EU funding to Bulgaria, to ensure compliance with the EU and Bulgaria’s joint obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). The Commission decided not to do so, so that the organisations had no option left but to address the Court.

Read more about the case here.