The role of national bodies with a human rights remit in ensuring fundamental rights compliance of EU funds


Slovak National Centre for Human Rights, together with the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and six other EU Member States, is implementing a regional project entitled Supporting National Human Rights Institutions in monitoring fundamental rights and the fundamental rights aspects of the rule of law. The project is funded by EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation.

The aim of the project (information about the project; information about the project on the FRA page) is to strengthen the role of NHRIs and their capacity to engage in the processes of applying fundamental rights and principles of the rule of law within the EU mechanisms.

As part of the project, the Centre prepared a Report on the role of national human rights institutions in ensuring respect for fundamental rights in the implementation of EU funds in Slovakia. By adoption of the new Common Provisions Regulation for the implementation of EU funds (“Common Provisions Regulation”),1 respect for fundamental rights has now become an essential condition for the implementation of EU funds.

The report focuses on the potential role of the Centre in implementing the fundamental rights conditionality, based on an analysis of the structure of the implementation of European Union funds in the Slovak Republic. The aim of the report is therefore to examine the role that the Centre could play in fulfilling its mandate as a national human rights institution in the process of implementing EU funds respecting the new human rights conditionality.

Concerning the methodology and the scope, the purpose of the report is to provide an overview of how EU funds operate in a national context, in order to identify fundamental rights challenges and opportunities, and to examine the role and involvement of national authorities with human rights remit in ensuring that EU funds comply with fundamental rights.

Based on the results of its desk research, the Centre also identified key stakeholders and experts at national level and conducted expert interviews to obtain an overview of fundamental rights challenges and opportunities in the implementation of EU funds, and to further explore the role of national authorities with human rights remit in ensuring respect for fundamental rights when implanting EU funds.

In preparing the Report, the Centre interviewed:

  1. the relevant departments of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family – the Gestor of the Horizontal Principles which has been mandated to ensure compliance of EU funds with the basic horizontal conditions regarding compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,
  2. the Office of the Government Plenipotentiary for Roma Communities, which acts as one of the ten intermediate bodies,
  3. Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, which acts as one of the ten intermediate bodies as well,
  4. Ministry of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization of the Slovak Republic, which acts as the managing authority.

The report is available in Slovak language as well as English language.

1 Regulation (EU) 2021/1060 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 June 2021 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the Cohesion Fund, the Just Transition Fund and the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund and financial rules for those and for the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, the Internal Security Fund and the Instrument for Financial Support for Border Management and Visa Policy