Yesterday evening the European Parliament approved the European Social Fund Plus with a budget of €88 billion. All EU member states will spend at least 3% to mitigate extreme poverty with food and basic material assistance. The co-financing rate is fixed at 90%.
Following Parliament’s approval, the regulation will enter into force on the twentieth day following its publication in the Official Journal.
FEBA President Jacques Vandenschrik comments:
“The approval of the European Social Fund Plus is a big step forward for a stronger Social Europe and comes at a crucial time. Together with our members, we want to thank all those who have been involved in the negotiations.
Whether the present social crisis will be resolved in time and allow the trend of persons at risk of poverty and social exclusion to resume its downward progress still remains to be seen.
As European Food Banks Federation we record a 34.7% increase of persons in need of food: unemployed people due to the pandemic, families with children relying on school meals, students and elderly people living alone.
Whilst the allocation of a minimum of 3% of the ESF+ to food and basic material assistance is a concrete measure and a sign of closeness to millions of European citizens in need, we must stress that, under the present social conditions, there is a need for all Member States to increase the percentage to at least 4% of the ESF+.
Together with our members, we confirm our commitment for a tangible implementation on the ground.”
Read the press release of the European Parliament.