The EESC recommends that the title of the programme should include the word "equality". This will ensure that the programme protects the rights of people affected by discrimination due to inequality.
The Committee recommends that the programme include in its objectives a stronger, specific mention of issues of equality, gender equality, combating violence and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The EESC recommends a realistic increase in the budget to an amount that reflects the additional aspects added to the programme.
The Committee is of the view that each of the programmes implemented is properly supported in each of the annual plans. In this regard, the Committee recommends that funds be earmarked so that no programme is disadvantaged.
The addition of the consumer strand to the programme is of huge concern to stakeholders, as it may displace existing programmes and/or weaken their funding support. The EESC strongly recommends that the budget allocated to the programme should not be reduced as a result of including this additional strand.
There is concern that adherence to a strict definition of citizenship could exclude some of the “persons” referred to in the objectives of the programme. The EESC believes that this concern would be reduced if the implementation programmes were encouraged to support inclusion principles in their plans.
The EESC strongly supports the work done by existing networks. It is important that networks applying for funding under the new programme should not be disadvantaged by disregarding their experience of human rights and equality work.
The Committee is clear that any gap between the end of the current programme for 2007-2013 and the new programme for 2014-2020 must be avoided.