Ex ante fundamental rights conditionalities – a novel fundamental rights tool in the European Structural and Investment Funds architecture : locating it in the broader EU fundamental rights conditionality landscape
Title: Ex ante fundamental rights conditionalities – a novel fundamental rights tool in the European Structural and Investment Funds architecture : locating it in the broader EU fundamental rights conditionality landscape
Author: VITA, Viorica
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2014
Series/Number: EUI LLM theses; Department of Law
The thesis engages in a comprehensive legal study of the fundamental rights conditionalities as introduced in the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds normative framework. It focuses on three general ex ante conditionalities in the area of antidiscrimination, gender equality and disability. Conditionality in fundamental rights is a long-standing EU policy tool, used mainly to enforce compliance with fundamental rights values on third countries. The 2013 Cohesion policy reform marks a strong transition of fundamental rights conditionality to internal policy. The development stirred a great interest as the tool addresses directly the EU Member States. It conditions the access to funding on a prior fulfilment of specifically prescribed fundamental rights criteria. In this context, the thesis inquires what is the nature and reach of the novel fundamental rights conditionalities. To facilitate a robust understanding of the newly introduced tool, the thesis firstly undertakes a conceptual analysis of conditionality. It further takes an evolutivecomparative approach, locating the fundamental rights conditionalities in the broader context of EU conditionality policy as well as in the context of European Structural and Investment Funds framework. Tested against the two areas, the research finds that the analysed ex ante conditionalities endorse the novelty claim, but, at the same time, they present similarities with the EU general use of conditionality in fundamental rights. Equally, fundamental rights conditionalities build harmoniously on the prior arrangements of European Structural and Investment Funds. The thesis concludes with a general assessment of the novel fundamental rights conditionalities’ potential and limits, primarily with regards to Cohesion policy and secondly with regards to the overall EU goal of promoting equality and combating status discrimination.
Award date: 28 November 2014; Supervisor: Professor Claire Kilpatrick, European University Institute
Type of Access: openAccess