Summary title: Petition No 0865/2018 by Kapka Panayotova (Bulgarian) on behalf of the Centre for Independent Living on the use of the European Structural and Investment Funds in Bulgaria
Petition number: 0865/2018
Topics: Social Affairs
Name of association: Centre for Independent Living Sofia
Name: Kapka Panayotova
The petition concerns the planned use of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF’s) for building group homes for people with disabilities and for elderly people. Such group homes are a part of the Bulgarian Government’s efforts to deinstitutionalise the long-term care system, thus fostering the independent living of people with disabilities and the elderly, and their genuine inclusion and participation in society. The petitioner, however, is concerned that even though such group homes may gradually lead to the closure of traditional institutions, they are unlikely to end the segregation and exclusion of people with disabilities and elderly people in the society. In that regard, the petitioner suggests an alternative of using EU funds for purchasing flats in existing blocks of flats/houses and providing more individualised support. The petitioner requests the European Parliament to call upon the Commission to ensure that Bulgaria uses EU funds to support the social inclusion of disabled people in line with the country’s EU and UNCRPD obligations. This requires the adoption of a strategy and a plan for long-term care (deinstitutionalisation), which prioritises the provision of accessible and affordable housing (not congregated) and non-residential support in community, including personal assistance. The petitioner also suggests the development of a methodology for evaluating Member States’ deinstitutionalisation strategies that takes into account the CRPD and evaluates the Member States based on the outcomes for the individuals concerned, as regards their social inclusion and community participation.