MDAC calls for political support after the European Commission applies double standards

MDAC calls for political support after the European Commission applies double standards

The European Commission has refused MDAC’s call to investigate the misuse of EU funds to segregate people with mental disabilities in Hungary. As the European Parliament has stated that it ‘deplores’ segregation in institutions, MDAC is turning to political channels to prevent EU taxpayers’ money being used to violate the human rights of people with mental disabilities.

Not all taxpayers in Europe may be aware that over €9million has been channelled through the European Union to the Hungarian government in a programme to continue the segregation of people with mental disabilities in the country. MDAC continues to challenge this misuse of European funding but has found that neither the European Commission nor the European Ombudsman are willing to step in.

The funding, provided under the European Regional Development Fund, is being used to build new ‘mini-institutions’ that can hold up to 30 people. This is a policy which directly conflicts with the right to community living enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). You can read more about the situation in our Executive Director’s recent blog.

The European Commission is funding segregation in Hungary

Now the European Parliament has expressed its concerns in a resolution adopted on 27 February. The Parliament went so far as to say it ‘deplores the fact that certain persons with disabilities have no choice but to live in special homes, given the lack of community based alternatives.’

MDAC has lodged official complaints with the European Commission and the European Ombudsman to challenge this situation. Unfortunately, the European Commission doesn’t see that it has any role to stop the construction of new mini-institutions, despite funding them. Instead the Commission is arguing that the Hungarian government must take action.

This is completely unsatisfactory, especially in light of the fact that the Hungarian government continues to package the ‘trans-institutionalisation’ of people with disabilities (a human rights violation) as ‘de-institutionalisation’ (progress).

Today, the arguments of the Commission hold even less water with reports that the Commission has initiated an investigation into the misuse of EU funds in Turkey, where there have been allegations of corruption.

This speaks loudly of double standards. It leads to the conclusion that the Commission is choosing not to intervene to prevent human rights violations against people with disabilities in Hungary, while showing concern about corruption in Turkey.

MDAC welcomes the European Parliament’s focus on this issue and is turning to political channels to put pressure on the Commission to stop the segregation of people with disabilities in Hungary.

To support MDAC’s efforts you can write to your local MEP and request that they raise this matter before the European Parliament. You can find your MEP by clicking here:

RSS Find us on facebook MDAC is on Twitter Company profile of MDAC on LinkedIn MDAC youtube channel Google plus close