Food aid to Europe's poorest
Although the European Union is one of the richest regions in the world, nearly a quarter of its inhabitants, and rising, were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2011. The economic crisis has exacerbated this trend.
The EU set up a special fund – the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) – to help those most in need. Its aim is to help eradicate the worst forms of poverty, such as homelessness, child poverty and food deprivation, which lead to acute social exclusion.
However, such aid is inappropriate for eliminating the causes of such social exclusion and overcoming the desperate situation in many of the EU Member States hit by the crisis.
What was the Greens' position?
The Greens believe the EU must take its responsibility for people dependent on EU food aid and advocate a comprehensive approach to the problems of social integration and unequal food distribution.
The FEAD should complement other existing funds, such as the European Social Fund (ESF).
We also want it to be linked to the challenge of avoiding wasteful food handling. The FEAD should favour the consumption of perfectly edible, locally sourced food rather than purchase new food from non-local suppliers. We advocate cooperating with local producers, to develop short supply chains for the sustainable production of high-quality food. This will also help to lower people's dependency on EU food aid.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
The Greens played a key role in improving the functioning of the FEAD, ensuring it can finance the collection, transport, storage and distribution of food donations.
Significantly, we also broadened its scope beyond mere food distribution to include the promotion of other measures designed to foster the social inclusion of the most deprived, such as schemes to find them decent housing, social integration programmes and assistance with budget management.
We managed to ensure that the FEAD will be implemented in close cooperation with organisations experienced in helping the most deprived on the ground.
Which points did the Greens lose?
We did not manage to ensure clearer links with the European Social Fund, which already helps to integrate people who are poor or otherwise socially and/or economically excluded. Coordinating both programmes could have boosted their effectiveness.
Procedure:Ordinary legislative procedure
Lead MEP:Emer Costello (S&D)
Green MEP responsible:Marije Cornelissen
Staff contact:Berta Halmos (Email)
Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?