The European Commission is being accused of trying to cut European Union (EU) funding for the continent's poorest people by 50% to ensure post-Brexit cost savings and extra funds for defense projects.
Quoted by the British newspaper "The Guardian", President of the European Food Bank Federation, Jacques Vandenschrik, said the spending plans proposed by the EU executive for the next seven years pose a risk not only to the most vulnerable but also to the stability of society at large.
EU institutions are currently working out the details of the long-term budget, known as the Multiannual Financial Framework. Leaving the UK will leave a hole in the hole, and senior EU officials said negotiations on the commission's proposed € 1.135 billion in spending commitments were the toughest so far.
The current budget ending in 2020 contained a fund of 3.8 billion euros to support the most deprived people and to help EU member states provide them with food and basic things like clothes, shoes and toiletries.
According to the proposed budget for 2021-27, such a fund does not exist, but member states would be required to give a minimum of two billion euros for food and basic material assistance. The Commission expects States to reserve twice that amount, but without any obligation.
Jacques Vandenschrik, whose organization helps food banks across Europe to distribute surplus products where it is needed most, said the Commission proposal was a "false economy".
"I think we should do better for the poorest. We cannot accept to deliver half or 60% of the food they receive now. The explanation is that the general budget of Europe needs to be tight. Brexit is one of the arguments. The other "It is the need to strengthen Europe's defense. But it will have an impact on health and social cohesion. It is a false economy to spare the poor. It is much better to increase purchasing power by giving them food so that the little money they do not have." spend on food can be spent on the economy. "
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