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EU food aid scheme Greens propose pragmatic solution to stand-off on EU food aid scheme

Date

19 Oct 2011

Sections

Agriculture & Food

EU agriculture ministers are tomorrow set to decide on a proposal to wind down a scheme under the CAP, which provides for food aid to the most vulnerable persons in the EU. With the proposals deadlocked in Council, the Greens have sent a letter to the Polish EU presidency proposing a solution: continue the food aid until 2013 by complementing EU agricultural intervention stocks with food products purchased on the market. This will ensure food banks across Europe are given sufficient time to prepare for a change in the scheme, rather than the disruption that would be caused by ending it abruptly.  In the longer run, the food aid scheme needs to be reformed and given the broader remit of lifting people out of food poverty and, as such, placed under the European Social Fund, rather than the CAP. Commenting on the deadlock and the Green letter, Green MEP Marije Cornelissen said:

"While there are clearly problems with continuing the food aid scheme in its current format, it would be irresponsible to abruptly cut this scheme on which 18 million people are dependent, all the more so during an economic crisis. The Greens have outlined a pragmatic solution to continue the food scheme in the next two years as an emergency and we hope EU ministers will support this proposal.


"Clearly, in the longer run, there is a need to find a more effective EU scheme to address the needs of the most vulnerable people. Whereas, formerly, agricultural surpluses could be used to provide food used for this scheme, these surpluses have now almost disappeared, and rightly so. Modern anti-poverty measures should be aimed at lifting people out of poverty and therefore reducing dependency on food aid. However, ending the current scheme with no warning would be the wrong course in these difficult times."

Click to view the letter.

Richard More O'Ferrall,

Press and media officer,

Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament

Mobile: +32-477-443842 - Ph. +32-22841669 (Brussels); +33-388174042

www.greens-efa.eu - http://twitter.com/GreensEP