Documents considered by the Committee on 18 July 2018 Contents

3Rights and Values Programme 2021–27

Committee’s assessment

Legally and politically important

Committee’s decision

Not cleared from scrutiny; further information requested; drawn to the attention of the Justice Committee and the Joint Committee on Human Rights

Document details

Proposed Regulation establishing the Rights and Values programme

Legal base

Articles 16(2), 19(2), 21(2), 24, 167(5) and 168 TFEU; ordinary legislative procedure; QMV


Department for International Development (Government Equalities Office)

Document Number

(39814), 9605/18 + ADD 1, COM (18)838

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

3.1The Commission has proposed to introduce a Rights and Values programme with effect from 1 January 2021 to cover the period from 2021–27. This is one of two related programmes (the other being the Justice programme which we examined in our Report chapter of 27 June)25 that comprise the Justice, Rights and Values Fund. The new programme will build on the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme, which runs from 2014 to the end of 2020.

3.2The proposed Rights and Values programme aims to protect and promote rights and values as enshrined in the EU Treaties and in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (“the Charter”). The specific objectives are to promote equality and rights, to encourage citizens’ engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union and to fight violence., particularly against children, young people and women. The European values26 to be promoted include fundamental rights, non-discrimination and equality, anti-racism and tolerance, respect for human dignity, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, cultural diversity, a vibrant civil society, freedom of expression and citizen participation in democratic life. The sorts of activities anticipated are awareness-raising, mutual learning, analytical and monitoring activities, training, bringing people together and developing the capacity of European networks.

3.3The Commission has conducted a mid-term analysis of the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme and has consulted with stakeholders. It concludes that whilst the programme has been successful there is still a need to address the issues. In addition, an overarching Impact Assessment27 examines not only the Rights and Values Programme but also the Justice and Creative Europe Programmes.28 This has already been cleared from scrutiny in our last Report chapter on the Justice Programme.29 The original intention of the Commission was to merge the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme, the Europe for Citizens programme, the Creative Europe programme and the Rights programme. However, as a result of the impact assessment the Commission decided to have a self-standing Creative Europe Fund and to create a separate Justice, Rights and Values Fund.

3.4The combined Justice and Rights and Values fund (comprising this programme and the Justice programme) will have a budget for the period of the programmes of €947 million (£839 million).30 The total budget for the Rights and Values programme for the 2021–2027 period is proposed to be €641,705,000 (approximately £567 million).31 Of this €408,705,00 (approximately £362 million)32 is allocated to the equality and rights, and violence strands and €233 million (approximately £206.45 million)33 is allocated to the citizens engagement and participation strand.

3.5The proposed Regulation would need to be adopted before its proposed date of application (1 January 2021) but adoption is likely to be earlier than that as part of the wider Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF). That date of application reflects the expected end of the UK’s expected transition/implementation period34 as currently drafted in the provisional Withdrawal Agreement.

3.6In terms of Brexit implications, Article 7 is the most significant provision in the proposed Regulation. It sets out the basis of third country association with the programme. Aside from the provision for non-EU EEA (European Economic Area) states, acceding and candidate countries and European Neighbourhood countries, other third countries can participate subject to the conditions laid down in a specific participation agreement providing that agreement:

3.7The Minister for Women and Equalities (Penny Mordaunt) says in her Explanatory Memorandum of 3 July 2018 that:

3.8We thank the Minister for her Explanatory Memorandum.

3.9We would also welcome as early an indication as possible as to whether the UK would consider participating in the future programme after the end of the transition/implementation period. Related to that we would be interested to learn in due course:

3.10In the meantime, we retain the document under scrutiny but draw it and this chapter to the attention of the Justice Committee and the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Full details of the documents

Proposed for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the Rights and Values programme: (39814), 9605/18 + ADD 1, COM(18) 838.

Previous Committee Reports

None; though see (39815) 9616/18 +ADD1: Thirty-third Report, HC 301–xxxi (2017–19), chapter 8 (27 June 2018).

25 Thirty-third Report, HC 301–xxxi (2017–19), chapter 8 (27 June 2018).

26 For EU values see Article 2 TEU. This provides that “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail”.

27 9616/18 + ADD1: Commission Staff Working Document Impact Assessment: Accompanying the documents Proposal for a Regulation establishing the Rights and Values programme Proposal for a Regulation establishing the Justice programme Proposal for a Regulation establishing the Creative Europe programme.

28 See our chapter on the Creative Europe programme: Thirty-third Report, HC 301–xxxi (2017–19), chapter 2 (27 June 2018).

29 Thirty-third Report, HC 301–xxxi (2017–19), chapter 8 (27 June 2018).

30 Applying an exchange rate of €1 = £0.88605.

31 As above.

32 As above.

33 As above.

34 In the Commission’s EM states that the proposal provides for a date of application as of 1 January 2021 and is presented for a Union of 27 Member States, in line with the notification by the United Kingdom of its intention to withdraw from the European Union and Euratom based on Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union received by the European Council on 29 March 2017.

Published: 24 July 2018