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This chapter is archived. Its content will however remain accessible.

For up-to-date information please go to the
"Free food for the most deprived people in the EU"
pages on this website.


Free food for Europe's poor

Public consultation

With the aim of examining options for the scheme's future the Commission carried out an Impact Assessment of the Most Deprived programme. This included a broad consultation process with experts from charitable organisations and Member State services, as well as a public consultation. The purpose of the internet consultation was to get feedback on a number of key questions from a wide public.

Results of the online consultation [pdf]

The scheme to distribute free food to the most deprived persons in the Community was launched in the exceptionally cold winter of 1986/87, when the European Community's surplus stocks of food commodities were given to Member State charities for distribution to people in need. Following a positive response, the measure was formalised.

With the subsequent CAP reform process, the intervention stocks that the Programme has been based on are increasingly a thing of the past, making it necessary to examine options for the programme's future. In order to get as broad an input as possible, the views of concerned charitable bodies, government services and non-governmental organisations, as well as the general public, were sought. A range of consultations and meetings was held during the assessment process, which was completed by July 2008.

The purpose of the online consultation was to get feedback on a number of key questions from a wide public. The consultation was open to everyone and available in 22 EU languages. It remained open until 14 May 2008.

The results of the consultation were taken into consideration by the Commission when it drew up its Impact Assessment and Proposal for the future of the scheme.


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Legal texts


Who are the EU's most deprived persons?

Impact assessment

Hearings and working papers

Public consultation

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Last update: 17-09-2008