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EU criticized for wanting to cut fund for the neediest

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EU criticized for wanting to cut fund for the neediest

Álvaro Millán / Flickr

When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union (EU), which should happen by the end of 2020, the British contribution to the Brussels coffers will cease to exist. Because of this, funds for programs that help the neediest could be cut by 50%.

To the Guardian, quoted This Monday by Expresso, President of the European Food Bank Federation, Jacques Vandenschrik, said the proposal to be discussed at the European Commission poses a risk to social cohesion.

“The consequences will be an increase in instability and a decrease in civility. If people and their children are hungry, they will have other plans to find a livelihood, which will not be pleasing to society. We cannot make progress by leaving the poor aside. This is not the way to improve our societies, ”he said.

According to him, one of the areas most likely to suffer from these cuts is eastern Europe, which is also the area that the EU has been most concerned about politically. In total, 33.1 million Europeans (or almost 7% of the population) live in extreme poverty.

In 2018, the UK's net contribution to the EU budget was £ 5 billion (around € 5.9 billion) and European officials admitted to the Guardian that negotiations for the multi-annual budget will be the most difficult. ever started in Brussels.

As Expresso noted, the current budget allocates € 3.8 billion to the Fund for the Most Needy (EAFRD), which helps Member States to provide their citizens with the first levels of survival aid.

In the plan being discussed for the period 2021-2027 there would be no allocation of funds dedicated to these levels, but the EU will ask each state to set aside a total of two billion euros from the budget to keep them as until here.

A Commission spokeswoman said she expected Member States to "invest twice this minimum value". “After a social impact study, the Commission decided to merge the two social aid funds to ensure better synergies between them,” he said, assuring that “the Commission is confident that this target amount of funding will be respected by Member States and be vigilant to ensure that. ”

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