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Parliamentary questions
12 July 2018
E-002405/2018
Answer given by Ms Thyssen on behalf of the Commission

The responsibility for the social policies is primarily in the hands of the national authorities. Article 5.13 of the FEAD (Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived) Regulation(1) requires Member States to choose the food and/or the basic material assistance on the basis of objective criteria related to the needs of the most deprived persons. Member States are responsible for determining eligibility criteria and content of the assistance.

In the context of the stability support programme for Greece, a social safety net has been put in place — a guaranteed minimum income scheme (the Social Solidarity Income — SSI) — introducing a basic level of protection against extreme poverty. The scheme was prepared with the help of technical support provided by the World Bank and coordinated by the Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS) of the Commission.

To improve targeting at the most needy households and to simplify administration of the FEAD scheme, the Greek authorities decided to link the eligibility for FEAD to the SSI scheme. As of June 2017, only the SSI beneficiaries are thus entitled to FEAD assistance.

The income thresholds for SSI, and consequently also for FEAD, vary according to size of the household, ranging from EUR 2400 for a single individual to up to a maximum of EUR 10 800 per year. In addition, beneficiary households must reside legally in the Greek territory, which makes illegal migrants not eligible. Asylum seekers living in hot-spots are not eligible either, as long as they can be enrolled in the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) cash transfer scheme.

With respect to child poverty, a major reform of child benefits was adopted in 2018 in the context of a comprehensive review of the Greek social welfare system, which increased considerably their adequacy, maintaining higher benefits for larger families.

(1)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.

Last updated: 13 July 2018Legal notice