The EU Aid for the Needy scheme, which provides food for as many as 18 million of the EU's most deprived citizens, faces a drastic cut in spending next year following a Court ruling in April.
In a further effort to overcome the deadlock in the Council of Ministers and maintain the food distribution programme at current levels, the European Commission has today put forward a second amended proposal to provide an impetus for a political agreement and to allow the successful food distribution scheme to continue in 2012 and 2013, as well as in the future.
The amendments proposed today will add a second legal base, namely social cohesion, reflecting the scheme's important social dimension. A further change is to remove the proposed provision for co-financing the scheme in future.
Earlier proposals to avoid this problem were tabled by the Commission in 2008 and 2010 have been backed by the European Parliament and a number of Member States, but the dossier remains blocked in the Council.