June 6, 2016
Genval, 6 June 2016 – Can the European Fund for the Most Deprived (FEAD) be considered as a thick box exercise for both the EU and its member states to achieve the Europe 2020 target: having at least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020?
How much money is available?
In real terms, over €3.8 billion are earmarked for the FEAD for the 2014-2020 period.
In addition, EU countries are to contribute at least 15% in national co-financing to their national programme
After controversial negotiations and having threatened by Member States, the European Parliament has protected the FEAD programme during the 2014-2020 budget negotiations. However, I have two fundamental problems with this.
1.) FEAD should not institutionalise poverty. This is, and should be only an emergency tool to help those who are really at the bottom of our society: the homeless, undocumented migrants, children living in deep poverty, Roma living in settlements in extreme poverty etc.
— Heather Roy (@hjroy) 2016. június 2.
2.) This is really a drop in the ocean only. Let’s have a look at the magnitude of the EU budget dedicated to something else to see the difference.
Is pseudo action sufficient answer to the poverty problem?
Last week, I was among the selected few who were invited to the launch conference of the FEAD network, which includes EU level NGOs and EU institutions, organisations interested in or delivering FEAD-funded activities and national Managing Authorities. However, as it sounds really similar to the EU Health Policy Platform which is clearly an exercise to keep civil society busy and avoid real policy action, I have at least some doubts. Would creating an on-line discussion group really solve the problem of poverty? Would this deliver tangible, evidence based results? Would it help to make Member States committed to fight the vicious circle of poverty with appropriate allocation of resources?Zoltán Massay-Kosubek