On 28 January 2021, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached a political agreement on the European Social Fund+ that contributes to social inclusion, job opportunities and fighting poverty.
The new ESF +, part of the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, will amount to €87 995 billion in 2018 prices.
The Parliament negotiated to have a budget dedicated to combatting extreme poverty in each Member State. At least 3% will be spent on those who need it most through food and basic material assistance or by addressing material deprivation, which is defined as an inability to pay for unexpected expenses, adequate heating, nutritious meals or durable goods.
Jacques Vandenschrik, President of the European Food Banks Federation:
“The political agreement on the European Social Fund Plus is a clear sign of the commitment of the European Union to consider with empathy this sanitary crisis and its impact on the most deprived. At a time of a 30% increase of food demand to fight food insecurity among European citizens, a minimum of 3% of the ESF+ budget will be spent on food aid and basic material assistance. Together with our members, we want to thank the efforts of all those who have been involved in these negotiations.
The improved fund percentage to be dedicated to food and material assistance should assist to make a concrete difference and foster social cohesion in the EU. It is for the Members States to spend these funds wisely and to concentrate on efficient solutions providing the best possible assistance at the best possible cost.”
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