The European Parliament and Council today reached a legislative agreement on an EU funding scheme, which will provide aid to the most deprived persons from 2014-20. The Greens welcomed the outcome on the €3.5 billion scheme, with Green social affairs spokesperson Marije Cornelissen stating:
"This agreement strikes the right balance and will ensure these funds are used in the most effective way for addressing the needs of the most deprived, with food aid and social inclusion measures.
"The Greens managed to improve the fund significantly, ensuring it can finance the collection, transport, storage and distribution of food donations. This should help reducing wastage of perfectly edible food from local sources instead of merely buying new food on the market. This solution will help food banks to become less dependent on EU food aid and have positive environmental impacts.
"Another important improvement is the broader scope, which will mean the fund is not only aimed at food distribution, but will also promote other measures to advance the social inclusion of the most deprived. This will include guiding them to social services, such as schemes to find decent housing, social integration programs or assistance with budget management.
"Importantly, the fund will be implemented in close cooperation with organisations that have experience with helping the most deprived on the ground. This will help make the fund more efficient and more sensitive to the needs of the most deprived."
- The agreement will now have to be confirmed by the European Parliament as a whole and the Council of Ministers.