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Food Aid in the EU: one billion Euros to help make ends meet. Czesław Siekierski MEP and Joseph Daul MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group


15 Feb 2012


Agriculture & Food

The European Parliament voted in favour today to extend the Food Distribution Programme in the EU to 2012 and 2013. The annual ceiling for food aid to the most needy is €500m per year. The EPP Group is a strong advocate of the programme, as the number of poor people in Europe has increased. Currently, thanks to food aid, nearly 18 million Europeans manage to make ends meet.

"The economic crisis which touches upon our countries affects deprived persons the most. And they are the 18 million beneficiaries of this EU programme. These are people who live in the most difficult conditions, the unemployed, the elderly, the handicapped, but also large families and single parents", said Czesław Siekierski MEP, Rapporteur for the Food Distribution Programme in the Union.

The Food Distribution Programme for the most deprived persons in the Union was set up in 1987 under the Common Agricultural Policy. At the time, the Council decided to release public stocks of surplus food for use as food aid in the EU.

"Charity begins at home: we cannot be consistent in helping people outside the EU and confusing when it comes to our European citizens. Food aid programmes must be extended further than 2013. This year in the European Union when the weather hit us hardest, the food stocks made available by the European food aid programmes are at the lowest. We cannot allow a repetition of this in the future", said Joseph Daul MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.

The EPP Group's recommendation to use European products in the first place was accepted. The institutions which distribute the food are also obliged to provide the information that the financing comes from the EU.

"Around 40 million people in Europe live in poverty. Therefore we should do everything possible to prepare the appropriate legal basis for the programme for the years 2014-2020", added Mr Siekierski MEP.

For further information:
Czesław Adam SIEKIERSKI MEP, Tel: +33-3-88145793
Joseph DAUL MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group, Tel: +33-3-88175525
Antoine Ripoll, Chairman's Spokesman, Tel: +32-475-856290
Delia Vlase, Chairman's Deputy Spokeswoman, Tel: +32-476-331038
Katarzyna Klaus, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel: +32-484-138359

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 271 Members.