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Poverty: Commission welcomes final adoption of new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

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20140206PHT35204_originalThe European Commission welcomes today's (10 March) definitive adoption by the EU's Council of Ministers of the Regulation on the new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). The fund will give member states valuable support in their efforts to help Europe's most vulnerable people, who have been worst affected by the ongoing economic and social crisis. In real terms, over €3.8 billion will be allocated to the fund over the 2014-2020 period. Member states will be responsible for paying 15% of the costs of their national programmes, with the remaining 85% coming from the fund.

Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Commissioner László Andor said: "I welcome the agreement of the Parliament and the Council on the creation of this new fund with a significantly increased budget, which will be able to ensure that around 4 million people will benefit from immediate assistance. I urge member states to make full use of the Fund and to implement it according to their specific needs."

The FEAD will support member states' actions to provide a broad range of non-financial material assistance including food, clothing and other essential goods for personal use such as shoes, soap and shampoo, to the most materially-deprived people. The FEAD will also require that the distribution of material assistance is combined with social reintegration measures such as guidance and support to help the most deprived to get out of poverty. Member states may also choose to provide only non-material assistance aimed at furthering the social inclusion of the most deprived persons.

The fund will offer considerable flexibility to member states, who will be able to choose, according to their own situation and traditions, the type of assistance they wish to provide (material or non-material assistance), and their preferred model for procuring and distributing the food and goods.

Background

The fund will contribute to meeting the target of the Europe 2020 Strategy, which commits the EU to reducing the number of people in or at risk of poverty by at least 20 million.

In 2012, close to 125 million people - almost a quarter of the population in the EU - were at risk of poverty or social exclusion (see STAT/13/184). Almost 50 million are suffering severe material deprivation.

The European Union's main instrument to support employability, fight poverty and promote social inclusion is and will remain the European Social Fund (ESF). This structural instrument invests directly in people's competences and aims at improving their value on the labour market. Yet some of the most vulnerable citizens suffering from extreme forms of poverty are too far away from the labour market to benefit from the social inclusion measures of the European Social Fund.

The EU's Food Distribution programme for the Most Deprived People (MDP) has since 1987 been an important source of provisions for organizations working in direct contact with the least fortunate people providing them with food. It was created to make good use of the then agricultural surpluses. With the expected depletion of intervention stocks and their high unpredictability over the period 2011-2020, as a consequence of successive reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, the MDP was discontinued at the end of 2013. The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived replaces and improves the MDP.

The European Parliament approved the proposal in February (STATEMENT/14/22), so the Fund can now enter into force.

More information

Poverty: New Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived - frequently asked questions
News item on DG Employment website
László Andor's website
Follow László Andor on Twitter
Subscribe to the European Commission's free email newsletter on employment, social affairs and inclusion

Economy

Sustainable transport: EU funds clean buses, electric charging infrastructure and more in France, Germany, Italy and Spain

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Following the EU's investment of €2.2 billion in 140 key transport projects to jump-start the green recovery, as announced in July, the EU is contributing additional €54 million to five projects that aim at delivering safer and greener transport services. Among the selection are projects deploying cleaner busses with charging infrastructure in Paris and Barcelona. The projects also involve constructing 255 new electric charging stations on Italian roads, and installing ERTMS, the European Rail Traffic Management System on 238 rail vehicles in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

The projects will be supported through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the EU's financial mechanism supporting transport infrastructure, and further contribute to decarbonizing transport as set out in the European Green Deal. These projects were selected through the CEF Blending Facility, which allows the leveraging of additional private financing for the projects, in addition to the EU's support. In total, CEF has now supported 932 projects, with €23.1bn in total. You can find more details on today's five new selected projects here.

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Defence

Security Union: EU law on combatting terrorism led to stronger criminal justice rules against terrorism and more rights for victims

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On 30 October, the Commission adopted a report assessing the measures that member states have taken to comply with the EU rules on combating terrorism (Directive 2017/541). This Directive is the main criminal justice instrument at EU level to counter terrorism. It sets minimum standards for defining terrorist and terrorism-related offences and for sanctions, while also giving victims of terrorism rights to protection, support and assistance.

The report concludes that the transposition of the Directive into national law helped strengthen member states' criminal justice approach to terrorism and the rights afforded to victims of terrorism. While the measures taken by member states to comply with the Directive are overall satisfactory, there are however gaps that are a cause for concern.

For example, not all member states criminalize in their national law all the offences listed in the Directive as terrorist offences. In addition, there are deficiencies in the measures that member states have taken to criminalize travel for terrorism purposes and the financing of terrorism, as well as to support victims.

The Commission will continue to support member states in working towards full and correct transposition of the Directive. Where necessary, the Commission will make use of its powers under the Treaties through infringement procedures. The report will now be presented to the European Parliament and the Council.

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EU

European Union joins world leaders in committing to reverse nature loss by 2030 at UN Biodiversity Summit

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On 30 September, President Ursula von der Leyen (pictured) represented the EU at the UN Biodiversity Summit in New York which brings together world leaders to step up global actions for nature and confirm their determination in agreeing a new ambitious global biodiversity framework at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity, planned for 2021.

Prior to the summit, President von der Leyen, together with more than 70 heads of state and government endorsed the Leaders' Pledge for Nature, committing to ten decisive actions to address the nature emergency. The President pledged to put nature and the climate at the heart of the EU's recovery plan, committing to tackle the interdependent climate and biodiversity crisis, deforestation, ecosystem degradation and pollution, and move to sustainable production and consumption.

President von der Leyen said: “Nature helps us in the fight against climate change. But it is also our ally in securing prosperity, combating poverty, hunger and inequalities, and is essential to prevent future zoonotic pandemics. We need to act now and bring nature back into our lives. This is the moment for world leaders to join hands and the EU is ready to lead the way. The European Green Deal is our vision and roadmap. We call on all to join this collective effort to create a common movement of change, to make the recovery green and to protect and restore our planet - the only home we have.”

The EU Biodiversity Strategy adopted by the European Commission in May 2020 outlines an ambitious agenda for the EU internally, but also globally. It reaffirms the EU's determination to lead by example in tackling the global biodiversity crisis and in developing an ambitious new UN Global Biodiversity Framework at the 2021 UN Biodiversity Conference.

This includes overarching long-term goals for biodiversity so that by 2050 the world's ecosystems are restored, resilient, and adequately protected; ambitious global 2030 targets in line with the EU's proposed commitments; and improved means of implementation in areas such as finance, capacity, research, know-how and technology.

Ahead of the COP 15, the European Commission also launched the global coalition United for #Biodiversity, calling on all national parks, aquariums, botanic gardens, zoos, research centres, science and natural history museums, to join forces and raise their voice about the nature crisis.

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