Renew Europe

Jan 21, 2021

2 min read

We urge Member States to make use of additional aid to the most deprived citizens

Renew Europe welcomes Wednesday’s plenary approval of amendments to the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), which make available additional resources for 2020 (retroactively), 2021 and 2022 as a response to the COVID outbreak and growing needs of the most vulnerable in the EU. As part of increased resources of almost 48 billion euros to cohesion policy under the EU 2014–2020 budget, the revision gives Member States the possibility to significantly increase resources for the most deprived citizens, who due to the ongoing pandemic are suffering more than ever.

“These additional resources to top up the FEAD can make the difference between life and death for so many Europeans who experience poverty and social exclusion and who rely on European aid for food or medicine and we urge the Member States to do so”, says Dragos Pislaru, Renew Europe Coordinator of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, who represented the group in the revision of the Fund.

Wednesdays plenary adoption means that Member States can increase aid to citizens in need, including low income retired people, single parent families, children, persons with disabilities and homeless people and is yet another tool in the Union’s response to help people in these difficult times. It provides significant support to national and local organisations in Member States providing social inclusion measures and delivering for example food, clothes and other basic assistance. To ensure quick delivery on the ground, Member States will receive a substantial pre-financing payment on the additional resources, and are not required to add any national co-financing.

Before the crisis, around 13 million people received FEAD support annually, including 4.4 million children under the age of 15. The ongoing Covid pandemic has unfortunately drastically increased the people in need.

Dragos Pislaru, quizzed the Council and Commission on the measures the EU is taking to deal with the social and employment effects of the COVID-19 crisis during a plenary debate on Wednesday afternoon. He says:

“I really urge Member States to make the best use of it and to ensure that no citizen suffers from hunger, while at the same time we fight to find solutions in the fight against poverty and social exclusion across Europe.”