The EU food aid scheme risks a 360 million EUR cut in 2012. Negotiations are blocked by a minority of Member States in the Council. In the absence of a decision from the Council, the Commission will not legally be able to allocate more than €113 million (instead of the €500m earmarked) for 2012 programme, and no budget will be allocated for 2013.
The Most Deprived Persons Scheme (MDPS) face cuts by over 360 million Euros in 2012 – from €480m to €113.5m, following a ruling by the European Court of Justice in April 2011. The ruling stated that volumes provided for the scheme “should come from intervention stocks and only marginal amounts should come from the open market”. The MDP scheme was therefore considered as “illegal, as nearly 90 % of food products from the market instead of public storage”.
The European Commission has made some proposals to solve the deadlock but negotiations are blocked at the Council by a minority of Member States (Germany, UK, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden), which insists that the scheme fulfils social objectives and therefore should be separated from the CAP.
To counteract these Member States, France and Slovenia have decided to urge their colleagues to find an agreement in the Social Affairs Council (EPSCO). The deadlock may be brought to the European Council in October (ie Presidents and Prime Ministers) to find a solution.
In the absence of a decision from the Council, the Commission will not legally be able to allocate more than €113 million (instead of the €500m earmarked) for the 2012 programme, and no budget will be allocated for 2013. It is planned to move the scheme to the European Social Fund in 2014 and use intervention stocks to supplement the programme.
This will put food banks at risk accross Europe, when poverty increases in Europe due to austerity measures to fight against the financial crisis.
EPHA related articles
Revised Commission proposal on Food Aid to Most Deprived Persons (MDP) Scheme
2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion closing conference.
Commission looks at nutritional requirements for the MDP
EPHA Briefing Paper on Health Inequalities