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Document 32014R0223

Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

  • It sets up the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), which aims to complement national poverty eradication programmes and social inclusion policies in European Union (EU) Member States. The FEAD follows on from the EU food aid programme.
  • Its specific aim is to help alleviate the most severe forms of poverty.
  • Its main focus is to provide basic material assistance and/or food to the most deprived people, together with other related measures, or to provide dedicated social inclusion support.
  • In taking care of people’s most basic needs, it complements the European Social Fund, which can provide further social inclusion support with a view to integrating people into the labour market.
  • The regulation has been amended several times, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, when its budget was increased to adapt to growing needs, and extended to cover the period up to the end of 2022. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, amending Regulations (EU) 2022/562 and (EU) 2022/613 have adapted the regulation to the challenges faced by public budgets given the substantial refugee inflow from Ukraine.

KEY POINTS

Approval of national programmes by the European Commission

  • The management of the fund is shared between the Commission and the Member States, in the same way as the European Structural and Investment Funds.
  • National authorities submitted national programmes for the 2014–2020 period for the Commission’s approval. These contain all the information concerning, for example, what action Member States proposed taking, the type of assistance planned and how they were going to manage the programme.
  • Member States can choose:
    • what type of assistance they will provide:
      • food, basic goods, or a combination of these, or
      • social inclusion support – for example, activities to help the inclusion of elderly people or children; and
    • how to procure and distribute these goods.

Partner organisations at national level

To implement the programme on the ground, each Member State selects partner organisations – either public bodies or non-governmental organisations – using objective and transparent criteria that are defined at national level.

Implementation

  • The Commission has adopted implementing acts (see related documents below) that lay down rules for submitting, implementing and monitoring programmes financed by the FEAD. These implementing acts mainly aim to:
    • set out the conditions of the use of the system for fund management in the European Union, SFC2014, which is an electronic data-exchange system between the Member States and the Commission for the implementation of EU funds;
    • create a computerised system to store data on the financial management and the evaluation of the programmes financed by the FEAD;
    • set up specific models for the management and the payment of each operational programme implemented under the FEAD;
    • set out the frequency and the format for the reporting of irregularities;
    • set out models for the management declaration, the audit strategy, the audit opinion and the annual control report.
  • The Commission has also adopted delegated acts, among other things, introducing specific rules on the reporting of irregularities (Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/1972), introducing detailed minimum requirements for audit purposes and the data to be recorded and stored (Delegated Regulation (EU) No 532/2014) and laying down the content of the annual and final implementation reports, including the list of common indicators (Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1255/2014).

Budget

  • Over €3.8 billion is allocated to the FEAD for 2014–2020 (in current prices).
  • Additional funding was made available to Member States during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Member States must contribute at least 15% in national co-financing to their national programme, but specific rules were introduced in order to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, allowing Member States to exceptionally declare expenditure based on a 100% co-financing rate.

Revision of the financial regulation (omnibus regulation): first amendment to the regulation

Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 (see summary) amends Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 to simplify the implementation of the fund, notably by:

  • extending the possibility for Member States to use simplified cost options;
  • simplifying the procedures for amending certain elements of operational programmes;
  • setting up safeguards for partner organisations in case the body purchasing the food or other basic goods fails to comply with the applicable law.

COVID-19 pandemic: second amendment to the regulation

  • Regulation (EU) 2020/559 amends Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 to enable Member States to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and introduces measures to ensure that the most deprived people can continue to receive assistance under the FEAD in a safe environment.
  • It gives Member States sufficient flexibility and liquidity to adjust their support schemes to the situation, based on consultations with partner organisations, including by:
    • providing more flexibility to Member States to purchase personal protective equipment for partner organisations;
    • allowing alternative schemes of delivery, such as through vouchers or cards in electronic or other form;
    • allowing Member States to amend certain elements of the operational programme without the need for a Commission decision;
    • allowing expenditure in relation to operations that provide a response to the COVID-19 outbreak to be eligible as from 1 February 2020; and
    • alleviating certain requirements on monitoring, control and audit.

COVID-19 pandemic: third amendment to the regulation

Amending Regulation (EU) 2021/177 allows Member States to use additional funds made available for post-COVID-19 recovery under the REACT-EU initiative in 2021 and 2022.

To ensure Member States have sufficient financial means to swiftly implement measures to assist the most deprived, they may benefit from a co-financing rate of up to 100% for these additional funds. This alleviates the burden on Member States’ public budgets and provides some relief to organisations responding to the COVID-19 emergency by enabling the continuity of their aid provision.

Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe: fourth amendment to the regulation

Amending Regulation (EU) 2022/562 introduces rules allowing Member States to more easily use the FEAD to respond to the crisis due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and help the growing number of people in need of assistance. It notably:

  • extends the possibility for Member States to benefit from a temporary 100% co-financing rate for the accounting year starting on 1 July 2021 and ending on 30 June 2022;
  • it allows expenditure in relation to operations addressing refugee inflow as a result of the military aggression of Ukraine by the Russian Federation from 24 February 2022;
  • it allows Member States to amend certain elements of the operational programme without the need for a Commission decision when the amendment is needed in order to respond to this crisis.

Increasing pre-financing from REACT-EU resources as a complement to Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe: fifth amendment to the regulation

Amending Regulation (EU) 2022/613 provides for the payment of additional pre-financing under REACT-EU for operational programmes supported by the FEAD that were topped up by REACT-EU resources in order to provide for additional finance for Member States to address the crisis due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 1 January 2014.

BACKGROUND

  • In 2012, according to Eurostat, close to 125 million people – almost a quarter of the EU’s population – were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Almost 50 million were suffering from severe material deprivation.
  • For further information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENT

Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (OJ L 72, 12.3.2014, pp. 1–41).

Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/594 of 18 April 2016 establishing a template for the structured survey on end recipients of food and/or basic material assistance operational programmes of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 103, 19.4.2016, pp. 13–21).

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/1972 of 8 July 2015 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council with specific provisions on the reporting of irregularities concerning the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (OJ L 293, 10.11.2015, pp. 11–14).

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1976 of 8 July 2015 setting out the frequency and the format of the reporting of irregularities concerning the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, under Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 293, 10.11.2015, pp. 26–28).

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1386 of 12 August 2015 laying down detailed rules implementing Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the models for the management declaration, the audit strategy, the audit opinion and the annual control report (OJ L 214, 13.8.2015, pp. 9–23).

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/341 of 20 February 2015 laying down detailed rules for implementing Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the models for submission of certain information to the Commission (OJ L 60, 4.3.2015, pp. 1–30).

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/212 of 11 February 2015 laying down rules for the application of Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the technical specifications of the system to record and store data on each operation necessary for monitoring, evaluation, financial management, verification and audit, including data on individual participants in operations co-financed by OP II (OJ L 36, 12.2.2015, pp. 1–3).

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1255/2014 of 17 July 2014 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived by laying down the content of the annual and final implementation reports, including the list of common indicators (OJ L 337, 25.11.2014, pp. 46–50).

See consolidated version.

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 532/2014 of 13 March 2014 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (OJ L 148, 20.5.2014, pp. 54–69).

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 463/2014 of 5 May 2014 laying down pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, the terms and conditions applicable to the electronic data exchange system between the Member States and the Commission (OJ L 134, 7.5.2014, pp. 32–36).

last update 13.05.2022

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