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How the Equality principle is incorporated in EU Structural Funds Programmes. Equality Training Workshop Dublin 17 th February 2011. Legal Basis (Art. 16 of Structural Fund Regulations).

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How the Equality principle is incorporated in EU Structural Funds Programmes

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how the equality principle is incorporated in eu structural funds programmes

How the Equality principle is incorporated in EU Structural Funds Programmes

Equality Training Workshop

Dublin 17th February 2011

legal basis art 16 of structural fund regulations
Legal Basis(Art. 16 of Structural Fund Regulations)
  • The Member States and the Commission shall ensure that equality between men and women and the integration of the gender perspective is promoted....
  • ....shall take appropriate steps to prevent discrimination based on gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation....
  • ...accessibility shall be one of the criteria to be observed...
programme focus 2007 13
Programme Focus 2007-13
  • The ERDF co-financed Regional Operational Programmes 2007-13 focus on:
    • Research, Innovation, ICT and Entrepreneurship
    • Environmental Protection and Renewable Energy
    • Urban Development and Secondary Transport
  • The EU co-funded programmes represent less than 2% of planned public investment as set out in the NDP 2007-13
putting equality principles into practice
Putting Equality Principles into Practice


  • Operational Programme texts include a chapter on equality and environmental sustainability – setting out existing policy approaches and legislation
  • Horizontal interests consulted during programme preparation in accordance with partnership principle
  • Meetings held with specialist units to agree overall approach to integration of horizontal principles
  • Four ‘horizontal’ principles identified in Regional OPs:
    • Environmental sustainability
    • Gender Equality
    • Social Inclusion
    • Broad Equality/Non-discrimination
putting equality principles into practice1
Putting Equality Principles into Practice

Implementation Plans

  • Separate section in each Implementation plan on prioritised horizontal principles – subject to approval of the Monitoring Committee
  • Guidance documents prepared by specialist units, e.g., Equality Authority, Combat Poverty Agency. Guidance on integration, monitoring, project selection, indicators
  • Inclusion of appropriate horizontal principle indicators in performance indicator tables, e.g., gender data on participants
implementation plans
Implementation Plans
  • This text could specify commitments in relation to:
    • inclusion of the principle as a specific objective of the intervention/theme;
    • inclusion of the principle in project selection criteria
    • capturing of horizontal impacts via performance indicators
    • undertaking impact assessments to ensure that the needs of different groups (e.g., men/women) will be met
    • engaging with specialist units to develop best practise
    • consultation with client groups
    • ring-fencing of specific budgets to support pro-active measures
    • inclusion of the principle in evaluations and reviews
    • inclusion of horizontal representatives on selection/advisory committees on a partnership basis
    • enhancement of expertise within the Intermediary/Beneficiary body in relation to the principle

- promoting equality of access and removing barriers to participation (gender,

    • equality, social inclusion)
    • steps that will be taken to ensure that the proposed intervention complies with EU and national legislation and public policy in relation to the principle e.g., access for people with disabilities
putting equality principles into practice2
Putting Equality Principles into Practice

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Monitoring Committee includes representatives of the 4 horizontal interests
  • Progress Reports for all measures include report on prioritised horizontal principles
  • Review of horizontal principle reports by Managing Authority staff and specialist units
  • Separate item on the Monitoring Committee meeting agenda
  • Overall mid-term evaluation included an evaluation of horizontal principle integration and reporting
  • Checklist for certifying EU-eligible expenditures includes a check on compliance with equality and environmental legislation
  • Administrative Agreement in place with each Department includes obligation to comply with reporting requirements
putting equality principles into practice3
Putting Equality Principles into Practice

EU-level Reporting and Review

  • Treatment of horizontal principles included in Annual Implementation Report to EU Commission
  • Reviewed at Annual Review Meeting (Brussels)
  • Ireland selected as case study for EU-wide study into integration of equality principles (2009)
  • Ireland selected for case study on accessibility for disabled persons (2011)
mid term evaluation overall comments of evaluators
Mid-Term Evaluation - overall comments of Evaluators
  • Level of reporting is mixed ranging from poor to comprehensive
  • Not always a clear and logical link between the intervention and its potential impact on the principle
  • Reporting template not always followed
  • Many reports are clear on what is being done, but less clear on the outcome/contribution to promoting the principle
  • Repetition of material from the progress reports in some cases
  • Limited physical progress in some themes
the evaluation reflects the views of the horizontal units
The Evaluation reflects the views of the Horizontal Units
  • Overall poor reporting
  • Incomplete templates
  • Lack of understanding of the principle and what is required
  • Absence of indicators
  • Further assistance needed
  • Managing Authority to provide training and/or have greater involvement
  • Steps should be taken by the Regional Assembly as Managing Authority in consultation with relevant Departments to specify more clearly what is expected in Horizontal Principle Reports.
  • Departments and agencies responsible for the implementation of themes should ensure that the content of their horizontal report is focused on the contribution the theme is making to the relevant horizontal principle. Repetition of the progress report does not make for good horizontal principle reporting.
  • Performance Indicators for horizontal principles are the exception and need to be developed.
putting equality principles into practice4
Putting Equality Principles into Practice

Micro-enterprise (CEBs)

  • All initiatives must comply with equality legislation
  • Latent entrepreneurial potential among minority groups to be explored e.g. Ethnic entrepreneurship programmes
  • Pro-actively enhance female entrepreneurship levels and track this within each board (gender disaggregated data)
  • Positive interventions such as women in business networks and tailored training
  • Equality principles explicit in objectives and in project selection processes
  • Gender disaggregated reporting
contact details
Contact Details

BMW Regional Assembly

The Square


Co. Roscommon

Tel. (353) 094 9862970

Fax. (353) 094 9862973