Procedure : 2012/0295(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0183/2013

Texts tabled :

A7-0183/2013

Debates :

PV 11/06/2013 - 5
CRE 11/06/2013 - 5

Votes :

PV 12/06/2013 - 8.8
CRE 12/06/2013 - 8.8
PV 25/02/2014 - 5.15
CRE 25/02/2014 - 5.15

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2013)0257
P7_TA(2014)0124

REPORT     ***I
PDF 1207kWORD 1993k
30 May 2013
PE 504.192v03-00 A7-0183/2013

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

(COM(2012)0617 – C7-0358/2012 – 2012/0295(COD))

Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

Rapporteur: Emer Costello

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgets
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

(COM(2012)0617 – C7-0358/2012 – 2012/0295(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2012)0617),

–   having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 175(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0358/2012 ),

–   having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to the reasoned opinions submitted, within the framework of Protocol (No 2) on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by the Riksdag of the Kingdom of Sweden, by the House of Lords and the House of Commons of the United Kingdom and by the German Bundestag, asserting that the draft legislative act does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity,

–   having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 14 February 2013(1),

–   after consulting the Committee of the Regions,

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and in particular Articles 1, 24, 34 thereof;

–   having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on Budgetary Control, the Committee on Regional Development, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Committee of Women's Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0183/2013),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Points out that the financial envelope indicated in the legislative proposal should be considered as indicative and finalised once an agreement is reached on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020;

3.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

4.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) In line with the conclusions of the European Council of 17 June 2010, whereby the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth was adopted, the Union and the Member States have set themselves the objective of having at least 20 million fewer people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020.

(1) In line with the conclusions of the European Council of 17 June 2010, whereby the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth ("Europe 2020 strategy") was adopted, the Union and the Member States have set themselves the objective of having at least 20 million fewer people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020. Nonetheless, in 2010, nearly one quarter of Europeans (119,6 million) were at risk-of-poverty or social exclusion, approximately 4 million people more than in the previous year. However, poverty and social exclusion are not uniform across the Union and the gravity varies between the Member States.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) The number of persons suffering from material or even severe material deprivation in the Union is increasing and those persons are often too excluded to benefit from the activation measures of Regulation (EU) No […CPR], and, in particular of Regulation (EU) No […ESF].

(2) The number of persons suffering from material , or even severe material deprivation, in the Union is increasing and in 2012 nearly 8 % of Union citizens lived in conditions of severe material deprivation. In addition, those persons are often too excluded to benefit from the activation measures of Regulation (EU) No ../….[CPR], and, in particular of Regulation (EU) No ../….[ESF].

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2a) Women and children are over-represented among deprived people at- risk-of-poverty and of social exclusion, while women are often responsible for the food security and subsistence of families. Member States and the Commission should take appropriate steps to prevent any discrimination and should ensure equality between men and women and the coherent integration of the gender perspective at all stages of the preparation, the programming, management and implementation, the monitoring and the evaluation of the Fund, as well as in information and awareness raising campaigns and exchanges of best practices;

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2b) Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union underlines that the Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2c) Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union underlines that the Union recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2 d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2d) In order to prevent the marginalisation of vulnerable and low-income groups and to avert the increased risk of poverty and social exclusion, it is necessary to adopt strategies that promoteactive inclusion.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter the ‘Fund’) should strengthen social cohesion by contributing to the reduction of poverty in the Union by supporting national schemes that provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons to alleviate food deprivation, homelessness and material deprivation of children.

(4) The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter the ‘Fund’) should strengthen social cohesion by contributing to the reduction of poverty in the Union by supporting national schemes that provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons to alleviate food and severe material deprivation.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4a) The ETHOS definition (European typology of homelessness) is a potential starting point for allocating the fund to different categories of severely deprived people.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4b) The Fund should not replace public policies undertaken by Member State governments with the aim of limiting the need for emergency food aid and developing sustainable targets and policies for the full eradication of hunger, poverty and social exclusion.

Justification

Member States must continue to develop long-term, sustainable projects to eradicate poverty, deprivation and social exclusion. This responsibility can in no way be replaced or reduced by using resources from the European Fund.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4c) Given the increasing number of those at risk of poverty and social exclusion, a trend which is set to continue in the coming years, it is necessary to step up resources earmarked for the Fund under the Multiannual Financial Framework.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4 d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4d) The Fund should also support efforts by the Member States to alleviate the acute material deprivation of the homeless.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) Those provisions also ensure that the operations supported shall comply with applicable Union and national laws, notably in regard to the safety of the goods that are distributed to the most deprived persons.

(6) Those provisions also ensure that the operations supported shall comply with applicable Union and national laws, notably in regard to the safety of food aid and basic material assistance to the most deprived persons.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) The operational programme of each Member State should identify and justify the forms of material deprivation to be addressed, and describe the objectives and features of the assistance to the most deprived persons that will be provided through the support of national schemes. It should also include elements necessary to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the operational programme.

(8) The operational programme of each Member States should identify and justify the forms of food and material deprivation to be addressed, and should describe the objectives and features of the assistance to the most deprived persons that will be provided through the support of national schemes. It should also include elements necessary to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the operational programmes.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(8a) Severe food deprivation in the Union coincides with significant food wastage. The operational programme of each Member State should include a reference to how it will seek to exploit synergies between policies for reducing food wastage and combating food deprivation, in a coordinated manner. The operational programme of each Member State should also include a reference to how it will seek to address any administrative obstacles that obstruct commercial and non-commercial organisations willing to donate excess food supplies to not-for-profit organisations engaged in combating food deprivation.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(8b) With a view to ensuring the effective and efficient implementation of the measures financed from the Fund, cooperation should be fostered between regional and local authorities and bodies representing civil society. Member States should therefore to promote the participation by all those involved in drawing up and implementing measures financed from the Fund.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) In order to maximise effectiveness of the Fund, in particular as regards the national circumstances, it is appropriate to set out a procedure for potential amendment of the operational programme.

(9) In order to maximise the effectiveness of the Fund and to ensure the maximum synergy with ESF measures, in particular as regards possible changes in national circumstances, it is appropriate to set out a procedure for the potential amendment of the operational programme.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(9a) In order to respond in the most effective and adequate manner to the various needs and to better reach out to the most deprived persons, the partnership principle should apply at all stages of the Fund.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) Exchanges of experience and best practices have a significant added value and the Commission should facilitate such dissemination.

(10) Exchanges of experience and best practices have a significant added value because they facilitate mutual learning and the Commission should facilitate and promote such dissemination, while seeking synergies with the exchange of best practices in the context of related Funds, in particular the ESF.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11) In order to monitor the progress of operational programmes implementation, the Member States should draw up and provide to the Commission annual and final implementation reports thus ensuring the availability of essential and up-to-date date information. For the same purposes, Commission and each Member State should meet every year for a bilateral review, except if they agree otherwise.

(11) In order to monitor the progress of operational programmes implementation, the Member States should, in cooperation with the non-governmental organisations involved, draw up and provide to the Commission annual and final implementation reports thus ensuring the availability of essential and up-to-date date information. For the same purposes, Commission and each Member State should meet every year for a bilateral review, except if they agree otherwise.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12) In order to improve the quality and design of each operational programme and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Fund, ex ante and ex post evaluations should be conducted. Those evaluations should be supplemented by surveys on the most deprived persons who have benefited from the operational programme and, if necessary, by evaluations during the programming period. The responsibilities of Member States and the Commission in this respect should be specified.

(12) In order to improve the quality and design of each operational programme and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Fund, ex ante and ex post evaluations should be conducted. Those evaluations should be supplemented by surveys on the most deprived persons who have benefited from the operational programme and, if necessary, by evaluations during the programming period. Those evaluation should also respect the privacy of end recipients and be carried out in such a way as not to stigmatise the most deprived people. The responsibilities of Member States and the Commission in this respect should be specified.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12a) As highlighted in the Eurostat study "Measuring material deprivation in the EU - Indicators for the whole population and child-specific indicators", substantial research has been carried out on material deprivation, enabling more refined data collection in the near future on materially deprived households, adults and children.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12b) When carrying out those evaluations, supplemented by surveys on the most deprived persons, it should be borne in mind that deprivation is a complex concept which is difficult to grasp when using a small number of indicators as they can be misleading and thus result in ineffective policies.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12c) As highlighted in the Eurofound (2012) - Third European Quality of Life Survey, material deprivation in the Union should be measured by the inability to afford items that are considered essential no matter what people own and how much they earn. Therefore, for the purpose of developing a deprivation index which allows for a more refined assessment of material deprivation of households, indicators such as income level, income inequality, the ability of making ends meet, over-indebtedness and satisfaction with living standards should be taken into account.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) Citizens have the right to know how the Union’s financial resources are invested and to what effects. For the purpose of ensuring wide dissemination of information about the achievements of the Fund and to ensure accessibility and transparency of funding opportunities, detailed rules about information and communication, especially in relation to the responsibilities of the Member States and the beneficiaries, should be set out.

(13) Citizens have the right to know how the Union’s financial resources are invested and to what effects. For the purpose of ensuring wide dissemination of information about the achievements of the Fund and to ensure accessibility and transparency of funding opportunities, detailed rules about information and communication, especially in relation to the responsibilities of local and regional authorities in the Member States and the beneficiaries, should be set out.

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) It is necessary to establish a maximum level of co-financing from the Fund to the operational programmes to provide for a multiplier effect of Union resources, while the situation of Member States facing temporary budget difficulties should be addressed.

(15) It is necessary to establish a level of co-financing from the Fund to the operational programmes to provide for a multiplier effect of Union resources.. The situation of Member States facing temporary budget difficulties should also be addressed.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) Uniform and equitable rules on the eligibility period, operations and expenditures for the Fund should be applied across the Union. The conditions of eligibility should reflect the specific nature of the Fund’s objectives and target populations, notably through adequate conditions of eligibility of the operations as well as forms of support and rules and conditions of reimbursement.

(16) Uniform, simple and equitable rules on the eligibility period, operations and expenditures for the Fund should be applied across the Union. The conditions of eligibility should reflect the specific nature of the Fund’s objectives and target populations, notably through adequate and simplified conditions of eligibility of the operations as well as forms of support and rules and conditions of reimbursement.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) [Proposal for a] Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation)5 provides that products bought under public intervention may be disposed of by making them available for the scheme for food distribution to the most deprived in the Union if that scheme so provides. Given that, depending on the circumstances, obtaining of food from the use, processing or sale of such stocks might be economically the most favourable option, it is appropriate to provide for such a possibility in this Regulation. The amounts derived from a transaction concerning the stocks should be used for the benefit of the most deprived, and should not be applied so as to diminish the obligation of the Member States to co-finance the programme. In order to ensure the most efficient possible use of the intervention stocks and the proceeds thereof, the Commission should in accordance with Article 19(e) of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO] adopt implementing acts establishing procedures by which the products in intervention stocks may be used, processed or sold for the purposes of the most deprived programme.

(17) [Proposal for a] Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation)5 provides that products bought under public intervention may be disposed of by making them available for the scheme for food distribution to the most deprived in the Union if that scheme so provides. Given that, depending on the circumstances, obtaining of food from the use, processing or sale of such stocks might be economically the most favourable option, it is appropriate to provide for such a possibility in this Regulation. The amounts derived from a transaction concerning the stocks should be used for the benefit of the most deprived, and should not be applied so as to diminish the obligation of the Member States to co-finance the programme. In order to ensure the most efficient possible use of the intervention stocks and the proceeds thereof, the Commission should in accordance with Article 19(e) of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO] adopt implementing acts establishing procedures by which the products in intervention stocks may be used, processed or sold for the purposes of the most deprived programme. Partner organisations should be allowed to distribute additional food supplies coming from other sources including intervention stock made available under Article 15 of Regulation (EU) No. ... [CMO].

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18) It is necessary to specify the types of actions that can be undertaken at the initiative of the Commission and of the Member States as technical assistance supported by the Fund.

(18) It is necessary to specify the types of actions that can be undertaken at the initiative of the Commission and of the Member States as technical assistance supported by the Fund. Which types of action are specified should be decided in close co-operation with the managing authorities and partner organisations.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 27

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(27) Union budget commitments should be effected annually. In order to ensure effective programme management, it is necessary to lay down common rules for interim payment requests, the payment of the annual balance and the final balance.

(27) Union budget commitments should be effected annually. In order to ensure effective programme management, it is necessary to lay down simple common rules for interim payment requests, the payment of the annual balance and the final balance.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 30

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(30) In order to safeguard the Union's financial interests, there should be measures limited in time that allow the authorising officer by delegation to interrupt payments where there is evidence to suggest a significant deficiency in the functioning of the management and control system, evidence of irregularities linked to a payment application, or a failure to submit documents for the purpose of the examination and acceptance of accounts.

(30) In order to safeguard the Union's financial interests, there should be measures limited in time that allow the authorising officer by delegation to interrupt payments where there is evidence to suggest a significant deficiency in the functioning of the management and control system, evidence of irregularities linked to a payment application, or a failure to submit documents for the purpose of the examination and acceptance of accounts, or serious delays in project implementation, with convincing evidence that the objectives set for the projects in question are not being met.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 32

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(32) In order to ensure that expenditure financed by the Union budget in any given financial year is used in accordance with the applicable rules, an appropriate framework should be created for the annual examination and acceptance of accounts. Under this framework, the designated bodies should submit to the Commission, in respect of the operational programme, a management declaration accompanied by the certified annual accounts, an annual summary of the final audit reports and of controls carried out and an independent audit opinion and control report.

(32) In order to ensure that expenditure financed by the Union budget in any given financial year is used in accordance with the applicable rules, an appropriate and simple framework should be created for the annual examination and acceptance of accounts. Under this framework, the designated bodies should submit to the Commission, in respect of the operational programme, a management declaration accompanied by the certified annual accounts, an annual summary of the final audit reports and of controls carried out and an independent audit opinion and control report.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 35

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(35) The frequency of audits on operations should be proportionate to the extent of the Union's support from the Fund. In particular, the number of audits carried out should be reduced where the total eligible expenditure for an operation does not exceed EUR 100 000. Nevertheless, it should be possible to carry out audits at any time where there is evidence of an irregularity or fraud, or as part of an audit sample. In order that the level of auditing by the Commission is proportionate to the risk, the Commission should be able to reduce its audit work in relation to operational programmes where there are no significant deficiencies or where the audit authority can be relied on. In addition, the scope of audits should take fully into account the objective and the features of the target populations of the Fund.

(35) The frequency of audits on operations should be proportionate to the extent of the Union's support from the Fund. In particular, the number of audits carried out should be reduced where the total eligible expenditure for an operation does not exceed EUR 100 000. Nevertheless, it should be possible to carry out audits at any time where there is evidence of an irregularity or fraud, or as part of an audit sample. In order that the level of auditing by the Commission is proportionate to the risk, the Commission should be able to reduce its audit work in relation to operational programmes where there are no significant deficiencies or where the audit authority can be relied on. In addition, the scope of audits should take fully into account the objective and the features of the target populations of the Fund, as well as the voluntary character of its beneficiary bodies.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 41

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(41) This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, including respect for human dignity and for private and family life, the right to the protection of personal data, the rights of the child, the rights of the elderly, equality between men and women, and the prohibition of discrimination. This Regulation must be applied according to these rights and principles.

(41) This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, including respect for human dignity and for private and family life, the right to the protection of personal data, the rights of the child, the right to social assistance and to housing, the rights of the elderly, equality between men and women, and the prohibition of discrimination. This Regulation must be applied according to these rights and principles.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 42 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(42a) Taking into account the date by which invitations to tender have to be issued, the time limits for adoption of this Regulation and the time needed for the preparation of operational programmes, rules should be put in place to permit a smooth transition in 2014 so that there is no interruption in the supply of food.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 42 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(42b) It should be ensured that the Fund complements programmes and actions funded under the ESF and is coordinated as closely as possible with the ESF. Setting up parallel structures in the fight against poverty which increase administrative burdens and make coordination and synergies difficult, should be avoided.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. This Regulation establishes the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter ‘the Fund’) for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 and determines the objectives of the Fund, the scope of its support, the financial resources available and the criteria for their allocation and lays down the rules necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the Fund.

1. This Regulation establishes the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter ‘the Fund’) for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 and determines the objectives of the Fund, the scope of its support, the financial resources available and the criteria for their allocation and lays down the rules necessary to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the Fund.

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The following definitions shall apply:

For the purpose of this Regulation the following definitions shall apply:

(1) ‘most deprived persons’ means physical persons, whether individuals, families, households or groups composed of such persons, whose need for assistance has been established according to the objective criteria adopted by the national competent authorities, or defined by the partner organisations and which are approved by those competent authorities;

(1) ‘most deprived persons’ means physical persons, whether individuals, families, households or groups composed of such persons, whose need for assistance has been established according to the objective criteria set by the national competent authorities in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, or defined by the partner organisations and which are approved by those national competent authorities;

(2) ‘partner organisations’ means public bodies or non-for-profit organisations that deliver the food or goods directly or through other partner organisations to the most deprived persons, and whose operations have been selected by the managing authority in accordance with Article 29(3)(b);

(2) ‘partner organisations’ means public bodies or non-for-profit organisations that deliver the food and/or basic material assistance - in accordance with the eligibility criteria set out in Article 24 - directly or through other partner organisations to the most deprived persons, and whose operations have been selected by the managing authority in accordance with Article 29(3)(b);

(3) 'national schemes' means any scheme having, at least partly, the same objectives as the Fund and which is being implemented at national, regional or local level by public bodies or non-for-profit organisations;

(3) 'national schemes' means any scheme having, at least partly, the same objectives as the Fund and which is being implemented at national, regional or local level by public bodies or non-for-profit organisations;

(4) 'operation' means a project, contract or action selected by the managing authority of the operational programme concerned, or under its responsibility, contributing to the objectives of the operational programme to which it relates;

(4) 'operation' means a project, contract or action selected by the managing authority of the operational programme concerned, or under its responsibility, contributing to the objectives of the operational programme to which it relates;

(5) 'completed operation' means an operation that has been physically completed or fully implemented and in respect of which all related payments have been made by beneficiaries and the support from the corresponding operational programme has been paid to the beneficiaries;

(5) 'completed operation' means an operation that has been physically completed or fully implemented and in respect of which all related payments have been made by beneficiaries and the support from the corresponding operational programme has been paid to the beneficiaries;

(6) 'beneficiary' means a public or private body responsible for initiating or initiating and implementing operations;

(6) 'beneficiary' means a public or private body responsible for initiating or initiating and implementing operations;

(7) ‘end recipient’ means the most deprived persons receiving the food or goods and/or benefiting from the accompanying measures;

(7) ‘end recipient’ means people suffering from food and/or material deprivation and receiving non-financial assistance and/or benefiting from the accompanying measures in the framework of this fund;

 

(7a) 'accompanying measures' means measures beyond the distribution of food and basic material assistance,taken with the aim of overcoming social exclusion and of tackling social emergencies in a more empowering and sustainable way;

(8) ‘public support' means any financial support given to an operation that originates from the budget of national, regional or local public authorities, the budget of the Union related to the Fund, the budget of public law bodies or the budget of associations of public authorities or any body governed by public law within the meaning of Article 1(9) of Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council;

(8) ‘public support' means any financial support given to an operation that originates from the budget of national, regional or local public authorities, the budget of the Union related to the Fund, the budget of public law bodies or the budget of associations of public authorities or any body governed by public law within the meaning of Article 1(9) of Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council;

(9) 'intermediate body' means any public or private body which acts under the responsibility of a managing or certifying authority, or which carries out duties on behalf of such an authority in relation to beneficiaries' implementing operations;

(9) 'intermediate body' means any public or private body which acts under the responsibility of a managing or certifying authority, or which carries out duties on behalf of such an authority in relation to beneficiaries' implementing operations;

(10) 'accounting year’ means the period from 1 July to 30 June, except for the first accounting year, in respect of which it means the period from the starting date for eligibility of expenditure until 30 June 2015, the final accounting year being from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023;

(10) 'accounting year’ means the period from 1 July to 30 June, except for the first accounting year, in respect of which it means the period from the starting date for eligibility of expenditure until 30 June 2015, the final accounting year being from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023;

(11) 'financial year' means the period from 1 January to 31 December.

(11) 'financial year' means the period from 1 January to 31 December.

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Fund shall promote social cohesion in the Union by contributing to achieving the poverty reduction target of at least 20 million of the number of persons at risk of poverty and social exclusion in accordance with the Europe 2020 strategy. The Fund shall contribute to achieving the specific objective of alleviating the worst forms of poverty in the Union by providing non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons. This objective shall be measured by the number of persons receiving assistance from the Fund.

1. The Fund shall promote social cohesion, enhance social inclusion and combat poverty in the Union by contributing to achieving the poverty reduction target of at least 20 million of the number of persons at risk of poverty and social exclusion in accordance with the Europe 2020 strategy, whilst complementing the European Social Fund. The Fund shall contribute to achieving the specific objective of alleviating and eradicating the worst forms of poverty, in particular food poverty, by providing non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons.

 

2. The Fund shall contribute to the sustainable eradication of food poverty, offering most deprived persons the prospect of a decent life This objective and the structural impact of the fund shall be qualitatively and quantitatively assessed.

 

3. The Fund shall complement and shall not replace or reduce sustainable national poverty eradication and social inclusion programmes, which remain the responsibility of Member States.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Fund shall support national schemes whereby food products and basic consumer goods for the personal use of homeless persons or of children are distributed to the most deprived persons through partner organisations selected by Member States.

1. The Fund shall support national schemes whereby food products and/or basic material assistance, including starter packs, for the personal use of the end recipients are distributed to the most deprived persons through partner organisations selected by Member States.

2. The Fund may support accompanying measures, complementing the provision of food and goods, contributing to the social inclusion of the most deprived persons.

2. The Fund may support accompanying measures, complementing the provision of food and basic material assistance, contributing to social inclusion and a healthy diet and reducing dependencies of the most deprived persons. Such measures should be closely linked to the local activities of the European Social Fund and the activities of organisations which focus on the eradication of poverty.

 

2a. The Fund may provide beneficiaries with assistance to make more efficient use of local food supply chains, thereby augmenting and diversifying the supply of food for the most deprived, as well as reducing and preventing food wastage.

3. The Fund shall promote mutual, learning, networking and dissemination of good practices in the area of non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons.

3. The Fund shall promote, at European level, mutual learning, networking and dissemination of good practices in the area of non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons. Relevant organisations and projects that do not make use of the Fund may also be included.

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The part of the Union budget allocated to the Fund shall be implemented within the framework of shared management between the Member States and the Commission, in accordance with Article 55(1)(b) of the Financial Regulation, with the exception of technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission, which shall be implemented in the framework of direct management in accordance with Article 55(1) (a) of the Financial Regulation.

1. The part of the Union budget allocated to the Fund shall be implemented within the framework of shared management between the Member States and the Commission, in accordance with Article 55(1)(b) of the Financial Regulation, with the exception of technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission, which shall be implemented in the framework of direct management in accordance with Article 55(1) (a) of the Financial Regulation.

2. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that support from the Fund is consistent with the policies and priorities of the Union and complementary to other instruments of the Union.

2. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that support from the Fund is consistent with the policies and priorities of the Union and complementary to other instruments of the Union.

3. Support from the Fund shall be implemented in close cooperation between the Commission and the Member States.

3. Support from the Fund shall be provided in close co-operation between the Commission and the Member States in co-operation with as well as the competent regional and local authorities and partner organisations involved.

4. Member States and the bodies designated by them for that purpose shall be responsible for implementing the operational programmes and carrying out their tasks under this Regulation in accordance with the institutional, legal and financial framework of the Member State and subject to compliance with this Regulation.

4. Member States and the bodies designated by them for that purpose, or where appropriate, the competent regional authorities, shall be responsible for implementing the operational programmes and carrying out their tasks under this Regulation in accordance with the institutional, legal and financial framework of the Member State and subject to compliance with this Regulation.

5. Arrangements for the implementation and use of the Fund, and in particular the financial and administrative resources required in relation to reporting, evaluation, management and control shall take into account the principle of proportionality having regard to the level of support allocated.

5. Arrangements for the implementation and use of the Fund, and in particular the financial and administrative resources required in relation to reporting, evaluation, management and control shall take into account the principle of proportionality having regard to the level of support allocated.

6. In accordance with their respective responsibilities, the Commission and the Member States shall ensure coordination with the European Social Fund, and with other Union policies and instruments

6. In accordance with their respective responsibilities, and in order to prevent double funding, the Commission and the Member States shall ensure coordination with the European Social Fund, and with other Union policies and instruments, in particular Union actions in the field of health.

7. The Commission and the Member States and the beneficiaries shall apply the principle of sound financial management in accordance with Article 26 of the Financial Regulation.

7. The Commission and the Member States and the beneficiaries shall apply the principle of sound financial management in accordance with Article 26 of the Financial Regulation.

8. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure the effectiveness of the Fund, in particular through monitoring, reporting and evaluation.

8. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure the effectiveness of the Fund, in particular through monitoring, reporting and evaluation and through the close and regular consultation of local and regional authorities and partner organisations implementing the fund's measures in the impact assessments.

9. The Commission and the Member States shall carry out their respective roles in relation to the Fund with the aim of reducing the administrative burden for beneficiaries.

9. The Commission and the Member States shall take action to guarantee the effectiveness of the Fund, and shall carry out their respective roles in relation to the Fund with the aim of reducing the administrative burden for beneficiaries;

10. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that equality between men and women and the integration of the gender perspective are promoted during the various stages of the implementation of the Fund. The Commission and the Member States shall take appropriate steps to prevent any discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation in obtaining access to the Fund.

10. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that equality between men and women and the integration of the gender perspective are taken into account during the various stages of the preparation, the programming, management and implementation, the monitoring and the evaluation of the Fund, as well as in information and awareness raising campaigns and exchanges of best practices, while using data broken down by gender where available. The Commission and the Member States shall take appropriate steps to prevent any discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation in obtaining access to the Fund, and related programmes and operations.

11. Operations financed by the Fund shall comply with applicable Union and national law. In particular, the Fund may only be used to support distribution of food or goods that are in conformity with the Union legislation on consumer product safety.

11. Operations financed by the Fund shall comply with applicable Union and national law. In particular, the Fund may only be used to support distribution of food or basic material assistance that are in conformity with the Union legislation on consumer product safety.

 

11a. Where appropriate, the choice of food products shall be based on principles of balanced nutrition and quality food, including fresh produce, and should contribute to a healthy diet of the end recipients.

12. Member States and beneficiaries shall choose the food products and the goods on the basis of objective criteria. The selection criteria for the food products, and where appropriate for goods, shall also take into consideration climatic and environmental aspects, in particular with a view to reduction of food waste.

12. Member States and beneficiaries shall choose food products and the basic material assistance on the basis of objective criteria related to the needs of the most deprived persons.

 

12a. Where appropriate priority should be given to local and regional products, taking climatic and environmental considerations into account, in particular with a view to the reduction of food waste at every stage of the distribution chain. This may include partnerships with companies throughout the food chain in a spirit of corporate social responsibility.

 

12b. The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that aid granted in the framework of this Fund respects the dignity of the most deprived persons.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The global resources available for budgetary commitment from the Fund for the period 2014-2020 shall be EUR 2 500 000 000 at 2011 prices, in accordance with the annual breakdown set out in Annex II.

1. The global resources available for budgetary commitment from the Fund for the period 2014-2020 shall be not less in real terms than the 2007-2013 allocation for the European food aid programme for deprived persons.

Justification

The financial envelope specified in the legislative proposal constitutes only an indication and will be finalised once agreement is reached on the regulation on the Multiannual Financial Framework. The budget proposed by the Commission is not commensurate with the aid needs of the most deprived and, given that the scope of operations is to be widened, amounts to a swingeing cut compared with the present period. With increasing poverty levels in the EU, the annual amount allocated to the FEAD for the 2014-2020 period should be increased to assure that the extended scope of the Fund, as proposed by the Commission, can be fully implemented.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Commission shall adopt a decision, by means of implementing acts, setting out the annual breakdown of the global resources by Member State, in accordance with Article 84(5) of Regulation (EU) No… (CPR), without prejudice to paragraph 4 of this Article, taking into account the following indicators established by Eurostat:

3. The Commission shall adopt a decision, by means of implementing acts, setting out the annual breakdown of the global resources by Member State, in accordance with Article 84(5) of Regulation (EU) No… (CPR), without prejudice to paragraph 4 of this Article, based on the most recent indicators established by Eurostat concerning:

(a) the population suffering from severe material deprivation;

(a) the population suffering from severe material deprivation, as a percentage of the total population;

(b) the population living in households with very low work intensity.

(b) changes in the population living in households with very low work intensity.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Each Member State shall submit to the Commission one operational programme covering the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020 within three months of the entry into force of this Regulation, containing the following items:

1. Each Member State shall submit to the Commission one operational programme covering the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020 within three months of the entry into force of this Regulation, containing the following items:

 

(aa) a specification of the amount of its allocated share to be used.

(a) an identification of and a justification for selecting the type(s) of material deprivation to be addressed under the operational programme and a description for each type of material deprivation addressed of the main characteristics and the objectives of the distribution of food or goods and the accompanying measures to be provided, having regard to the results of the ex ante evaluation carried out in accordance with Article 14;

(a) a justification for selecting the type(s) of material deprivation to be addressed and a description of the main characteristics of the operational programme, having regard to the results of the ex ante evaluation carried out in accordance with Article 14;

(b) a description of the corresponding national scheme(s) for each type of material deprivation addressed;

(b) a description of the corresponding national scheme(s) for each type of material deprivation addressed;

(c) a description of the mechanism setting the eligibility criteria for the most deprived persons, differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

(c) a description of the mechanism setting the eligibility criteria for the most deprived persons, differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

(d) the criteria for the selection of operations and a description of the selection mechanism differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

(d) the criteria for the selection of operations and a description of the selection mechanism differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

(e) the criteria for the selection of the partner organisations differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

(e) the criteria for the selection of the partner organisations differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

(f) a description of the mechanism used to ensure complementarity with the European Social Fund;

(f) a description of the mechanism used to ensure complementarity with the European Social Fund showing a clear demarcation line between activities covered by those two funds;

 

(fa) a description of the specific measures envisaged and of the funds allocated to give effect to the principles set out in Article 5.

(g) a description of the provisions for implementing the operational programme containing the identification of the managing authority, the certifying authority where applicable, the audit authority and the body to which payments are to be made by the Commission and a description of the monitoring procedure;

(g) a description of the provisions for implementing the operational programme containing the identification of the managing authority, the certifying authority where applicable, the audit authority and the body to which payments are to be made by the Commission and a description of the monitoring procedure;

(h) a description of the measures taken to involve the competent regional, local and other public authorities as well as bodies representing civil society and bodies responsible for promoting equality and non-discrimination in the preparation of the operational programme;

(h) a description of the measures taken to involve the competent regional, local and other public authorities as well as bodies representing civil society and bodies responsible for promoting equality and non-discrimination in the preparation of the operational programme;

(i) a description of the planned use of technical assistance in accordance with Article 25(2), including actions to reinforce the administrative capacity of the beneficiaries in relation to the implementation of the operational programme;

(i) a description of the planned use of technical assistance in accordance with Article 25(2), including actions to reinforce the administrative capacity of the beneficiaries in relation to the implementation of the operational programme;

(j) a financing plan containing following tables:

(j) a financing plan containing following tables:

(i) a table specifying for each year in accordance with Article 18 the amount of the financial appropriation envisaged for support from the Fund and the co-financing in accordance with Article 18;

(i) a table specifying for each year in accordance with Article 18 the amount of the financial appropriation envisaged for support from the Fund and the co-financing in accordance with Article 18;

(ii) a table specifying, for the whole programming period, the amount of the total financial appropriation in respect of support from the operational programme for each type of material deprivation addressed as well as the corresponding accompanying measures.

(ii) a table specifying, for the whole programming period, the amount of the total financial appropriation in respect of support from the operational programme for each type of material deprivation addressed as well as the corresponding accompanying measures.

The partner organisations referred to in point (e) that deliver directly the food or goods shall themselves undertake activities complementing the provision of material assistance, aiming at the social inclusion of the most deprived persons, whether or not these activities are supported by the Fund.

The partner organisations referred to in point (e) that deliver directly the food and/or basic material assistance shall themselves or in cooperation with other organisations undertake activities complementing the provision of material assistance, aiming at the social inclusion of the most deprived persons, whether or not these activities are supported by the Fund.

2. Operational programmes shall be drawn up by Member States or any authority designated by them in cooperation with the competent regional, local and other public authorities as well as bodies representing civil society and bodies responsible for promoting equality and non-discrimination.

2. Operational programmes shall be drawn up by Member States or any authority designated by them in cooperation with the competent regional, local and other public authorities as well as all relevant stakeholders. Member States shall ensure that the operational programmes are closely linked to national social inclusion policies.

3. The Member States shall draft their operational programmes in accordance with the template set out in Annex I.

3. The Member States shall draft their operational programmes in accordance with the template set out in Annex I.

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Member State may submit a request for amendment of the operational programme. It shall be accompanied by the revised operational programme and the justification for the amendment.

1. A Member State may submit a request for amendment of the operational programme. It shall be accompanied by the revised operational programme and the justification for the amendment.

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Platform

Exchange of good practice

The Commission shall set up a Union level platform to facilitate the exchange of experience, capacity building and networking, as well as dissemination of relevant outcomes in the area of non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons.

The Commission shall facilitate the exchange of experience, capacity building, networking and social innovation at Union level, thereby linking partner organisations and other relevant stakeholders from all Member States.

In addition, the Commission shall consult, at least once a year, the organisations which represent the partner organisations at Union level on the implementation of support from the Fund.

In addition, the Commission shall consult, at least once a year, the organisations which represent the partner organisations at Union level on the implementation of support from the Fund and shall thereafter report back to the European Parliament and to the Council in due course.

 

The Commission shall also facilitate the online dissemination of relevant outcomes, reports and information in relation to the Fund.

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. From 2015 to 2022, the Member States shall submit to the Commission, by 30 June of each year, an annual implementation report for the operational programme in the previous financial year.

1. From 2015 to 2022, the Member States shall submit to the Commission, by 30 June of each year, an annual implementation report for the operational programme in the previous financial year.

2. The Member States shall draft the annual implementation report in accordance with the template adopted by the Commission, including the list of common input and outcome indicators.

2. The Member States shall draft the annual implementation report in accordance with the template adopted by the Commission, including the list of common input and outcome indicators.

 

These indicators shall include:

 

(a) Recent changes in social policy spending on severe material deprivation, in absolute terms, in relation to GDP and in relation to total public spending.

 

(b) Recent changes in social policy legislation on access to funding for beneficiaries and other organisations addressing severe material deprivation.

3. The annual implementation reports shall be admissible where they contain all the information required in accordance with the template referred in paragraph 2, including the common indicators. The Commission shall inform the Member State concerned within 15 working days from the date of receipt of the annual implementation report if it is not admissible. Where the Commission has not sent that information within the time limit, the report shall be deemed admissible.

3. The annual implementation reports shall be admissible where they contain all the information required in accordance with the template referred in paragraph 2, including the common indicators. The Commission shall inform the Member State concerned within 15 working days from the date of receipt of the annual implementation report if it is not admissible. Where the Commission has not sent that information within the time limit, the report shall be deemed admissible.

4. The Commission shall examine the annual implementation report and inform the Member State of its observations within two months of the receipt of the annual implementation report.

4. The Commission shall examine the annual implementation report and inform the Member State of its observations within two months of the receipt of the annual implementation report.

Where the Commission does not provide observations within this time limit, the reports shall be deemed to be accepted.

Where the Commission does not provide observations within this time limit, the reports shall be deemed to be accepted.

5. The Member States shall submit a final report on the implementation of the operational programme by 30 September 2023.

5. The Member States shall submit a final report on the implementation of the operational programme by 30 September 2023.

The Member States shall draft the final implementation report in accordance with the template adopted by the Commission.

The Member States shall draft the final implementation report in accordance with the template adopted by the Commission.

The Commission shall examine the final implementation report and inform the Member State of its observations within five months of receipt of the final report.

The Commission shall examine the final implementation report and inform the Member State of its observations within five months of receipt of the final report.

Where the Commission does not provide observations within this time limit, the reports shall be deemed to be accepted.

Where the Commission does not provide observations within this time limit, the reports shall be deemed to be accepted.

6. The Commission shall adopt the template for the annual implementation report, including the list of common indicators and for the final implementation report by means of implementing act. This implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 60(2).

6. The Commission shall adopt the template for the annual implementation report, including the list of common indicators and for the final implementation report by means of implementing act. This implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 60(2).

7. The Commission may address observations to a Member State concerning the implementation of the operational programme. The managing authority shall within three months inform the Commission of the corrective measures taken.

7. The Commission may address observations to a Member State concerning the implementation of the operational programme. The managing authority shall within three months inform the Commission of the corrective measures taken.

8. The managing authority shall make public a summary of the contents of each annual and final implementation report.

8. The managing authority shall make public a summary of the contents of each annual and final implementation report.

 

8a. The Commission shall present a summary of the annual implementation reports and the final implementation reports to the European Parliament and Council in due time.

 

8b. The procedure concerning implementation reports shall not be excessive in comparison to the funds allocated and to the nature of the support and shall not cause unnecessary administrative burdens.

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Bilateral review meeting

Bilateral review meetings

1. The Commission and each Member State shall meet every year from 2014 to 2022, unless otherwise agreed, to examine the progress in implementing the operational programme, taking account of the annual implementation report and the Commission's observations referred to in Article 11(7), where applicable.

1. The Commission and each Member State shall meet every year from 2014 to 2022, unless otherwise agreed, to examine the progress in implementing the operational programme, taking account of the annual implementation report and the Commission's observations referred to in Article 11(7), where applicable.

2. The bilateral review meeting shall be chaired by the Commission.

2. The bilateral review meeting shall be chaired by the Commission.

3. The Member State shall ensure that appropriate follow-up is given to any comments of the Commission following the meeting.

3. The Member State shall ensure that appropriate follow-up is given to any comments of the Commission following the meeting and refer to it in the implementation report of the following year or , as appropriate, years

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Member States shall provide the resources necessary for carrying out evaluations, and shall ensure that procedures are in place to produce and collect the data necessary for evaluations, including data related to the common indicators referred to in Article 11.

1. Member States shall provide the resources necessary for carrying out evaluations, and shall ensure that procedures are in place to produce and collect the data necessary for evaluations, including data related to the common indicators referred to in Article 11.

2. Evaluations shall be carried out by experts that are functionally independent of the authorities responsible for operational programme implementation. All evaluations shall be made public in their entirety.

2. Evaluations shall be carried out by experts that are functionally independent of the authorities responsible for operational programme implementation. All evaluations shall be made public in their entirety but may under no circumstances include information regarding the identity of end recipients.

 

2a. The evaluations shall not be excessive in comparison to the funds allocated or to the nature of the support and shall not cause unnecessary administrative burdens.

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Member States shall carry out an ex ante evaluation of the operational programme.

1. Member States shall carry out an ex ante evaluation of the operational programme.

2. The ex ante evaluation shall be carried out under the responsibility of the authority responsible for preparing the operational programmes. It shall be submitted to the Commission at the same time as the operational programme, together with an executive summary.

2. The ex ante evaluation shall be carried out under the responsibility of the authority responsible for preparing the operational programmes. It shall be submitted to the Commission at the same time as the operational programme, together with an executive summary.

3. Ex ante evaluations shall appraise the following elements:

3. Ex ante evaluations shall appraise the following elements:

(a) the contribution to the Union objective of at least 20 million fewer people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020, having regard to the selected type of material deprivation to be addressed, taking into account national circumstances in terms of poverty and social exclusion and material deprivation;

(a) the contribution to the Union objective of at least 20 million fewer people living in poverty or at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020, having regard to the selected type of material deprivation to be addressed, taking into account national circumstances in terms of poverty and social exclusion and material deprivation;

 

(aa) the contribution to the reduction of food waste;

(b) the internal coherence of the proposed operational programme and its relation with other relevant financial instruments;

(b) the internal coherence of the proposed operational programme and its relation with other relevant financial instruments;

(c) the consistency of the allocation of budgetary resources with the objective of the operational programme;

(c) the consistency of the allocation of budgetary resources with the objective of the operational programme;

(d) contribution of the expected outputs to the results;

(d) the contribution of the expected outputs to the objectives of the Fund;

 

(da) the effective engagement of relevant stakeholders in the design and implementation of the operational programme;

(e) the suitability of the procedures for monitoring the operational programme and for collecting the data necessary to carry out evaluations.

(e) the suitability of the procedures for monitoring the operational programme and for collecting the data necessary to carry out evaluations.

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. During the programming period, the managing authority may carry out evaluations for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of the operational programme.

1. During the programming period, the managing authority shall evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the operational programme.

2. The managing authority shall carry out a structured survey on end recipients in 2017 and 2021, in accordance with the template provided by the Commission. The Commission shall adopt the template by means of an implementing act. This implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 60(2).

2. The managing authority shall carry out a structured survey on end recipients in 2017 and 2021, in accordance with the template provided by the Commission. The Commission shall adopt implementing acts establishing the template after the consultation of relevant stakeholders. This implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 60(2).

3. The Commission may carry out, at its own initiative, evaluation of operational programmes.

3. The Commission may at its own initiative, evaluate operational programmes.

 

3a. The Commission shall present a mid-term assessment of the Fund to the European Parliament and to the Council by March 2018 at the latest.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

At its own initiative and in close cooperation with the Member States, the Commission shall carry out, with the assistance of external experts, an ex-post evaluation, to assess the effectiveness and sustainability of results obtained as well as to measure the added value of the Fund. This ex post evaluation shall be completed by 31 December 2023.

At its own initiative and in close cooperation with the Member States, the Commission shall carry out, with the assistance of external experts, an ex-post evaluation, to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the fund and the sustainability of results obtained, as well as to measure the added value of the Fund. This ex post evaluation shall be completed by 31 December 2023.

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Member States shall provide information on and promote the actions supported by the Fund. The information shall be addressed to the most deprived persons, the media and the wider public. It shall highlight the role of the Union and ensure that the contribution from the Fund is visible.

1. The Commission and the Member States shall provide information on and promote the actions supported by the Fund. The information shall, in particular, be addressed to the most deprived persons, as well as to the wider public and the media. It shall highlight the role of the Union and ensure that the contribution from the Fund, the Member States and the partner organisations regarding the Union's social cohesion objectives is visible without stigmatising end recipients.

2. The managing authority shall, in order to maintain transparency in the support of the Fund, maintain a list of operations supported by the Fund in CSV or XML format which shall be accessible through a website. The list shall include at least information on the beneficiary name, its address and allocated amount of Union funding as well as the type of material deprivation addressed.

2. The managing authority shall, in order to maintain transparency in the support of the Fund, maintain a list of operations supported by the Fund in CSV or XML format which shall be accessible through a website The list shall include at least information on the beneficiary name, its address and allocated amount of Union funding as well as the type of material deprivation addressed.

The list of operations shall be updated at least every twelve months.

The list of operations shall be updated at least every twelve months.

3. During the implementation of an operation, the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall inform the public about the support obtained from the Fund by placing at least one poster with information about the operation (minimum size A3), including about the financial support from Union, at a location readily visible to the public, at each place of provision of food, goods and any accompanying measure, except if this is not possible due to the circumstances of the distribution.

3. During the implementation of an operation, the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall inform the public about the support obtained from the Fund by placing either at least one poster with information about the operation (minimum size A3), including about the financial support from Union or a Union flag of reasonable size, at a location readily visible to the public, at each place of provision of food and/or basic material assistance and any accompanying measure without stigmatising end-recipients, except if this is not possible due to the circumstances of the distribution.

Those beneficiaries and partner organisations which have websites shall also provide a short description of the operation, including its aims and results, and highlighting the financial support from the Union.

Those beneficiaries and partner organisations which have websites shall also provide a short description of the operation, including its aims and results, and highlighting the financial support from the Union.

4. All information and communication measures undertaken by the beneficiary and the partner organisations shall acknowledge support from the Fund to the operation by displaying the emblem of the Union together with a reference to the Union and the Fund.

4. All information and communication measures undertaken by the beneficiary and the partner organisations shall acknowledge support from the Fund to the operation by displaying the emblem of the Union together with a reference to the Union and the Fund.

5. The managing authority shall inform beneficiaries of publication of the list of operations in accordance with paragraph 2. The managing authority shall provide information and publicity kits, including templates in electronic format, to help beneficiaries and partner organisations to meet their obligations as set out in paragraph 3.

5. The managing authority shall inform beneficiaries of publication of the list of operations in accordance with paragraph 2. The managing authority shall provide information and publicity kits, including templates in electronic format, to help beneficiaries and partner organisations to meet their obligations as set out in paragraph 3.

6. In processing personal data pursuant to this Article, the managing authority as well as the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall comply with Directive 95/46/EC.

6. In processing personal data pursuant to Articles 13-17, the managing authority as well as the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall comply with Directive 95/46/EC.

Amendment  53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The co-financing rate at the level of the operational programme shall not be higher than 85% of the public eligible expenditure.

1. The co-financing rate at the level of the operational programme amounts to 85% of the public eligible expenditure. It may be increased in the cases described in Article 19(1). Member States shall be free to support the Fund's initiatives with additional national resources.

 

1a. Beneficiaries shall not under any circumstance co-finance operations of the Fund.

2. The Commission decision adopting an operational programme shall fix the co-financing rate applicable to the operational programme and the maximum amount of support from the Fund.

2. The Commission decision adopting an operational programme shall fix the co-financing rate applicable to the operational programme and the maximum amount of support from the Fund.

3. The technical assistance measures implemented at the initiative of, or on behalf of, the Commission may be financed at the rate of 100%.

3. The technical assistance measures implemented at the initiative of, or on behalf of, the Commission may be financed at the rate of 100%.

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. At the request of a Member State, interim payments and payments of the final balance may be increased by 10 percentage points above the co-financing rate applicable to the operational programme. The increased rate, which can not exceed 100%, shall apply to requests for payment relating to the accounting period in which the Member State has submitted its request and subsequent accounting periods during which the Member State meets one of the following conditions:

1. At the request of a Member State, interim payments and payments of the final balance may be increased by 10 percentage points above the co-financing rate applicable to the operational programme. The increased rate, which can not exceed 100%, shall apply to requests for payment relating to the accounting period in which the Member State has submitted its request and subsequent accounting periods during which the Member State meets one of the following conditions:

(a). where the Member State concerned has adopted the euro, it receives macrofinancial assistance from the Union in accordance with Council Regulation (EU) No 407/2010;

(a). where the Member State concerned has adopted the euro, it receives macrofinancial assistance from the Union in accordance with Council Regulation (EU) No 407/2010;

(b) where the Member State concerned has not adopted the euro, it receives medium-term financial assistance in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 332/2002;

(b) where the Member State concerned has not adopted the euro, it receives medium-term financial assistance in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 332/2002;

(c) financial assistance is made available to it in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism.

(c) financial assistance is made available to it in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism.

2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, Union support through interim payments and payments of the final balance shall not be higher than the public support and the maximum amount of support from the Fund, as laid down in the Commission decision approving the operational programme.

2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, Union support through interim payments and payments of the final balance shall not be higher than the public and/or private support and the maximum amount of support from the Fund, as laid down in the Commission decision approving the operational programme.

Amendment  55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Operations supported by the operational programme shall be located in the Member State covered by the operational programme.

1. Operations supported by the operational programme shall be located in the Member State covered by the operational programme.

2. Operations may receive support from the operation programme provided that they have been selected in accordance with a fair and transparent procedure, on the basis of the criteria laid down in the operational programme.

2. Operations may receive support from the operation programme provided that they have been selected in accordance with a fair and transparent procedure, on the basis of the criteria laid down in the operational programme.

3. The food and the goods for homeless persons or for children may be purchased by the partner organisations themselves.

3. The food and/or the items for basic material assistance for the personal use of the end recipients may be purchased by the partner organisations themselves.

They may also be purchased by a public body and made available free of charge to the partner organisations. In that case, the food may be obtained from the use, processing or sale of the products in intervention stocks made available in accordance with Article 15 of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO], provided that this is economically the most favourable option and does not unduly delay the delivery of the food products to the partner organisations. Any amount derived from a transaction concerning those stocks shall be used for the benefit of the most deprived persons, and shall not be applied so as to diminish the obligations of the Member States, provided in Article 18 of this Regulation, to co-finance the programme.

They may also be purchased by a public body and made available free of charge to the partner organisations. The partner organisations may, in addition, distribute food supplies coming from other sources including intervention stock made available under Article 15 of the Regulation (EU) No. ... [CMO].

The Commission shall apply the procedures adopted pursuant to Article 19(e) of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO] by which the products in intervention stocks may be used, processed or sold for the purposes of this Regulation, in order to ensure the most efficient possible use of the intervention stocks and proceeds thereof.

The Commission shall apply the procedures adopted pursuant to Article 19(e) of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO] by which the products in intervention stocks may be used, processed or sold for the purposes of this Regulation, in order to ensure the most efficient possible use of the intervention stocks and proceeds thereof.

4. That material assistance shall be distributed free of charge to the most deprived persons.

4. The food and/or the items for basic material assistance shall be distributed free of charge to the most deprived persons without any exception.

5. An operation supported by the Fund shall not receive support from another Union instrument.

5. An operation supported by the Fund shall not receive support from another Union instrument in order to avoid double funding. However, beneficiaries shall not be prevented from applying to use other European Funds such as the ESF to undertake complementary actions aimed at addressing poverty relief and social inclusion.

Amendment  56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The costs eligible for a support from the operational programme shall be:

1. The costs eligible for a support from the operational programme shall be:

(a) the costs of purchasing food and basic consumer goods for personal use of homeless persons or of children;

(a) the costs of purchasing food and items for basic material assistance for the personal use of end-recipients;

(b) where a public body purchases the food or basic consumer goods for personal use of homeless persons or of children and provide them to partner organisations, the costs of transporting of food or goods to the storage depots of the partner organisations at a flat rate of 1% of the costs referred to in point (a);

(b) where a public body purchases the food or basic consumer goods for the personal use of end-recipients provides them to partner organisations, the costs of transporting food or items for basic material assistance to the storage depots of the partner organisations at a flat rate of 1% of the costs referred to in point (a);

(c) the administrative, transport and storage costs borne by the partner organisations at a flat rate of 5 % of the costs referred to in point (a);

(c) the administrative, transport and storage costs borne by the partner organisations at a flat rate of 5 % of the costs referred to in point (a); or  5 % of the value of the food intervention stocks transferred in accordance with Article 15 of the Regulation (EU) No. ../…. [CMO];

 

(ca) the administrative, transport, and storage costs borne by the partner organisations in relation to the collection of food waste.

(d) the costs of social inclusion activities undertaken and declared by the partner organisations delivering directly the material assistance to the most deprived persons at a flat rate of 5% of the costs referred to in point (a);

(d) the costs of social inclusion activities undertaken and declared by the partner organisations delivering directly or indirectly the basic material assistance to the end recipients at a flat rate of 5% of the costs referred to in point (a)

(e) costs incurred pursuant to Article 25.

(e) costs incurred pursuant to Article 25.

2. The following costs shall not be eligible for a support from the operational programme:

2. The following costs shall not be eligible for a support from the operational programme:

(a) interest on debt;

(a) interest on debt;

(b) costs of second-hand goods;

(b) costs of second-hand goods;

(c) value added tax. However, VAT amounts shall be eligible where they are not recoverable under national VAT legislation and are paid by a beneficiary other than a non-taxable person as defined in the first subparagraph of Article 13(1) of Council Directive 2006/112/EC.

(c) value added tax. However, VAT amounts shall be eligible where they are not recoverable under national VAT legislation and are paid by a beneficiary other than a non-taxable person as defined in the first subparagraph of Article 13(1) of Council Directive 2006/112/EC.

Amendment  57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 28 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The Member State shall designate a national public authority or body, functionally independent from the managing authority and the certifying authority, as audit authority.

4. The Member State shall designate a national public authority or body, functionally independent from the managing authority and the certifying authority, as audit authority. The national audit office or the national court of auditors may be designated as the audit authority.

Amendment  58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29 – paragraph 4 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(o) draw up the management declaration and annual summary referred to in Article 56 (5)(a) and (b) of the Financial Regulation.

(e) draw up the management declaration and annual summary referred to in Article 59(5)(a) and (b) of the Financial Regulation.

Amendment  59

Proposal for a regulation

Article 30 – paragraph 1 – point 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. drawing up the annual accounts referred to in Article 56 (5) (a) of the Financial Regulation;

2. drawing up the annual accounts referred to in Article 59(5)(a) of the Financial Regulation;

Amendment  60

Proposal for a regulation

Article 30 – paragraph 1 – point 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

8. keeping an account of amounts recoverable and of amounts withdrawn following cancellation of all or part of the contribution for an operation. Amounts recovered shall be repaid to the general budget of the Union prior to the closure of the operational programme by deducting them from the next statement of expenditure.

8. keeping an account of amounts recoverable and of amounts withdrawn following cancellation of all or part of the contribution for an operation. Amounts recovered shall be repaid to the Fund prior to the closure of the operational programme by deducting them from the next statement of expenditure.

Amendment 61

Proposal for a regulation

Article 31 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The audit authority shall, within six months of adoption of the operational programme, prepare an audit strategy for performance of audits. The audit strategy shall set out the audit methodology, the sampling method for audits on operations and the planning of audits in relation to the current accounting year and the two subsequent accounting years. The audit strategy shall be updated annually from 2016 until and including 2022. The audit authority shall submit the audit strategy to the Commission upon request.

4. The audit authority shall, within six months of adoption of the operational programme, prepare an audit strategy for performance of audits. The audit strategy shall set out the audit methodology, the sampling method for audits on operations and the planning of audits in relation to the current accounting year and the two subsequent accounting years. The audit strategy shall be updated annually from 2016 until and including 2022. The audit authority shall submit the audit strategy to the Commission. The Commission shall be empowered to request that the audit authority introduces changes to its audit strategy, which, in its view, are necessary for ensuring that audits are carried out in a proper manner, in accordance with the internationally accepted audit standards. In doing so the Commission shall ensure that performance audit has been sufficiently taken into account.

Amendment 62

Proposal for a regulation

Article 31 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(r) an audit opinion in accordance with Article 56 (5) of the Financial Regulation;

(a) an audit opinion in accordance with Article 59(5) of the Financial Regulation;

Amendment  63

Proposal for a regulation

Article 33 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Commission may require a Member State to take the actions necessary to ensure the effective functioning of their management and control systems or the correctness of expenditure in accordance with this Regulation.

3. The Commission shall require Member States to take the actions necessary to ensure the effective functioning of their management and control systems or the correctness of expenditure in accordance with this Regulation.

Amendment  64

Proposal for a regulation

Article 35 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The budget commitments of the Union in respect of each operational programme shall be made in annual instalments during the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020. The decision of the Commission adopting the operational programme shall constitute the financing decision within the meaning of Article 81(2) of the Financial Regulation and once notified to the Member State concerned, a legal commitment within the meaning of that Regulation.

The budget commitments of the Union in respect of each operational programme shall be made in annual instalments during the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020. The decision of the Commission adopting the operational programme shall constitute the financing decision within the meaning of Article 84(2) of the Financial Regulation and once notified to the Member State concerned, a legal commitment within the meaning of that Regulation.

Amendment  65

Proposal for a regulation

Article 45 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. For each year from 2015 until and including 2022, by 15 February of the year following the end of the accounting period, the designated bodies shall submit to the Commission the following documents and information in accordance with Article 56 of the Financial Regulation:

1. For each year from 2015 until and including 2022, by 15 February of the year following the end of the accounting period, the designated bodies shall submit to the Commission the following documents and information in accordance with Article 59 of the Financial Regulation:

(dd) the certified annual accounts of the relevant bodies designated pursuant to Article 32 as referred to in Article 56(5) of the Financial Regulation;

(a) the certified annual accounts of the relevant bodies designated pursuant to Article 32 as referred to in Article 59(5) of the Financial Regulation;

(ee) the management declaration as referred to in Article 56(5) of the Financial Regulation;

(b) the management declaration as referred to in Article 59(5) of the Financial Regulation;

(ff) an annual summary of the final audit reports and of controls carried out, including an analysis of the nature and extent of errors and of weaknesses, as well as corrective actions taken or planned;

(c) an annual summary of the final audit reports and of controls carried out, including an analysis of the nature and extent of errors and of weaknesses, as well as corrective actions taken or planned;

(gg) an audit opinion by the designated independent audit body as referred in Article 56(5) of the Financial Regulation, accompanied by a control report setting out the findings of the audits carried out relating to the accounting year covered by the opinion.

(d) an audit opinion by the designated independent audit body as referred in Article 59(5) of the Financial Regulation, accompanied by a control report setting out the findings of the audits carried out relating to the accounting year covered by the opinion.

Amendment  66

Proposal for a regulation

Article 48 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The managing authority shall ensure that all supporting documents on operations are made available to the Commission and the European Court of Auditors upon request for a period of three years. This three year period shall run from 31 December of the year of the decision on acceptance of accounts by the Commission pursuant to Article 47 or, at the latest, from the date of payment of the final balance.

1. The managing authority shall ensure that all supporting documents on operations are made available to the Commission and the European Court of Auditors upon request for a period of five years. This five year period shall run from the date of payment of the final balance.

This three year period shall be interrupted either in the case of legal or administrative proceedings or by a duly justified request of the Commission.

This five year period shall be interrupted either in the case of legal or administrative proceedings or by a duly justified request of the Commission.

Amendment  67

Proposal for a regulation

Article 60 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 60a

 

Transitional provisions

 

The Commission and the Member States shall ensure via transitional provisions that activities eligible for support can start as of 1 January 2014, even if operational programmes have not yet been submitted.

Amendment  68

Proposal for a regulation

Article 61

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day after publication following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

(1)

OJ C 133, 9.5.2013, p. 62.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Through the Europe 2020 Strategy, the European Union has set itself the target of reducing the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion by at least 20 million by 2020.

The economic and financial crisis however is exacerbating poverty and social exclusion across the Union. Almost 120 million Europeans, a rise of six million in two years and now nearly one quarter of the total population, were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2011. Over 40 million suffer from severe material deprivation. One in ten under 60-year olds live in households with low-work intensity.

One of the main features of material deprivation is an inability to access appropriate quantities and qualities of food. 43 million Europeans are unable to afford a meal with meat, chicken or fish (or vegetarian equivalent) every second day, a WHO-defined basic need. Children are particularly sensitive to food poverty and poor eating patterns can adversely affect brain development and capacity to learn as well as their future health.

A particularly severe form of material deprivation is homelessness. This is difficult to quantify but one estimate puts the number of homeless people across the Union at 4.1 million in 2009/10. The crisis is leading to an increase in homelessness, and families with children, young adults (up 20% in Denmark and 15% in the Netherlands) and people with a migrant background increasingly featuring among the homeless.

Over 25 million children in the Union were at risk of poverty and social exclusion in 2011. Almost six million go without new (not-second hand) clothes and almost five million do not have two pairs of properly-fitting shoes. Europe's collective social and economic future depends in part on our capacity to break the transmission of disadvantage across generations yet our children are at a greater risk of poverty or social exclusion than the overall population (27.1% compared to 23.5%). In only five Member States (Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, and Sweden) were children at a lower risk of poverty or social exclusion than the wider population. Indeed, even where the overall risk of poverty or social exclusion is stable, the risk for children is increasing (e.g. Germany). Children suffering from material deprivation are less likely than their better-off peers to do well at school and go on to achieve their full potential.

At the same time, the economic and financial crisis has diminished the ability of many Member States to support people at risk of poverty and social exclusion. In 2011, the number of people at risk was back up to 2008 levels and most Member States are not making any progress towards their national 2020 poverty and social exclusion targets.

The Union's main instrument to support employability, fight poverty and promote inclusion is and will remain the European Social Fund (ESF). However, the 'employment activation' rationale of the ESF means that people with the most fundamental needs are often too distant from the labour market (e.g. children) or too excluded to benefit from its interventions (e.g. the homeless).

Since 1987, the EU has operated the Aid for Most Deprived Persons (MDP) programme to enable Member States release public stocks of surplus food (intervention stocks) for distribution as food aid. Almost 19 million people benefited from the MDP in 2011. The number of participating Member States has risen from nine in 2001 to twenty in 2012, with a number of Member States such as Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and Denmark which initially took part no longer doing so. Apart from a number of small-scale social experimentation projects supported by the EU, the MDP is currently the only EU programme that reaches out to people at the margins of society. Since its establishment, the MDP become an important support for organisations that provide food aid. While the programme has never sought to resolve food poverty in the Member States, organisations engaged with the MDP and in ancillary services indicate that the 'predictability' of this support is an essential for their operations, allowing the mobilisation of volunteers and facilitating and leveraging access to other funding sources and/or contributions-in-kind.

However with the running down of intervention stocks over recent years and the expected absence of such stocks in the future, the MDP has lost its original rationale, and is to be discontinued at the end of 2013. In view of demand, termination of the MDP at the end of this year without a new replacement programme being in place would pose a very serious threat to the operation of food aid programmes in many Member States. Large charities and civil society organisations representing food banks, and organisations working with and on behalf of children and homeless people have repeatedly called for continued EU support beyond 2013. So too has the European Parliament, as well as the EESC, the Committee of the Regions, and regional and local authorities across the Union.

Main elements of proposed Fund

The legal basis for this proposal is Art.175(3) TFEU. This provides for the adoption of "specific actions" outside the Structural Funds that lead "to the strengthening of [the EU's] economic, social and territorial cohesion" (Art.174, TFEU)".

The proposed €2.5 billion Fund for the 2014-20 period, would establish a new, broader instrument, partly building upon the experience of the MDP by supporting national schemes that address food deprivation, whilst devoting part of its resources for material assistance in the form of non-food goods for homeless people and/or children, and for accompanying measures aimed at social reintegration of assisted persons

The Fund would directly target the most deprived persons or households in Member States whose need for assistance is established by national authorities or partner organisations, or indirectly through the provision of food and goods for homeless people or children. Member States would plan and deliver assistance in line with national schemes and the criteria for the allocation of assistance would be the responsibility of the Member States or partner organisations.

The Fund would be implemented through shared management, based on a simplified cohesion policy implementation system (i.e. one seven-year, Operational Programme per Member State, use of simplified costs options, and streamlined financial management). Partner organisations would be public bodies or NGOs and they distribute assistance directly, they would also undertake accompanying social inclusion measures. .

Conclusion

The support envisaged by this proposed Fund should not be seen as a substitute for the comprehensive policies that are needed to reduce and eventually eliminate poverty. This remains a challenge both for the Union and the Member States.

Furthermore, the resources proposed for this Fund are extremely limited and far from sufficient. It is estimated that the Fund would benefit two million people annually across the Union, or just one-twentieth of the severally materially deprived population (and an estimated four million given the potential leverage effect). By way of comparison, the US Dept. of Agriculture spends approximately $100 billion a year to help eligible households, women, infants and children meet their food needs.

That said, the Commission's proposal is to be welcomed. The new Fund would enable the Union to continue to contribute towards alleviating some of the worst forms of poverty and social exclusion in Europe. In this regard the specific Commission proposals as regards payments to beneficiaries (Art.39) and pre-financing (Art.41) are particularly welcome. So too are the efforts to simplify the implementation procedures: the administrative burden, particularly on partner organisations, should be kept to a minimum.

The focus on people at risk of material deprivation and food deprivation particularly the homeless, children and households with children and on accompanying social inclusion measures would address some of the worst and most serious forms of deprivation and also reinforce current and planned EU efforts in these areas.

The proposed European platform would enable Member States, partner organisations and others to learn from each other and foster more strategic approaches to tackling poverty and social exclusion.

It would also contribute towards achieving other EU policies such as in the field of public health and food waste.

In all, despite its limitations, the Fund does have the potential to play an important role in improving the lives of people at the margins of society, especially the homeless and materially-deprived children and materially-deprived households with children, and to help them to live a life of dignity. It could help many to engage in pathways out of poverty and, where relevant, into employment, thereby contributing towards achieve the employment and social inclusion targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

In view of the (rising) levels of poverty and social exclusion across the Union and given the fact that it would provide added European value, this new initiative is both necessary and fully justified, especially against the backdrop of the Europe 2020 strategy and current and forthcoming initiatives in relation to child poverty and homelessness.

According to a 2010 Eurobarometer survey, after unemployment, Europe's citizens see tackling poverty as the most important challenge confronting the Union.

Art.2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) highlights respect for human dignity and solidarity as core values of the Union. Art.3 of the same treaty states the Union's aim is to "promote peace, its values and the well-being of its people" and commits the Union to working for social progress, to combating social justice and to protecting the rights of the child.

Building upon the experience of the MDP with a new Fund for European Aid for the Most Deprived would be a practical expression of the Union's core values and principles and tangible recognition of the fact that the Union is willing to play its part in confronting the challenges of poverty and social exclusion.


OPINION of the Committee on Budgets (27.3.2013)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

(COM(2012)0617 – C7-0358/2012 – 2012/0295(COD))

Rapporteur: Derek Vaughan

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The Commission has proposed a Regulation (Fund for European Aid to the most deprived) which establishes for the period 2014-2020 a new instrument to complement the existing cohesion instruments and notably the European Social Fund, by addressing the worst and most socially corrosive forms of poverty, food deprivation as well as homelessness and material deprivation of children while supporting accompanying measures aiming at the social reintegration of the most deprived persons of the Union.

The Commission proposes a budget of EUR 2.5 billion at 2011 prices for this new instrument in the next Mulitannual Financial Framework for the period 2014-2020. Your rapporteur welcomes the creation of the Fund, but is concerned by the proposed level, which constitutes a cut compared to the current food aid programme. Furthermore, it should be highlighted that the scope of this Fund has been broadened to support those suffering from material deprivation and homelessness.

Your rapporteur notes that funding for this programme should come from the total funding allocated to Member States under the Structural and Cohesion funds. As a consequence, this new fund will be implemented under "shared management", applying implementing rules that are used for Structural and Cohesion funds. The Commission's proposal appears, at times, complex and could result in increased administrative burden for beneficiaries, which will mainly be NGOs. Though the Commission has made some efforts to simplify these rules, your rapporteur believes it is vital for the Regulation to be as simple as possible in order to have the greatest impact on helping to reduce poverty and social exclusion.

Your rapporteur notes that this Fund replaces the Food Distribution Programme, which was responsible for distributing food to EU citizens by using agricultural surpluses which might otherwise have been destroyed. The expected depletion and high unpredictability of intervention stocks over the period 2011-2020 has deprived this programme of the original rationale underpinning it and it will be discontinued at the end of 2013. However, when possible, intervention stocks should be used free of charge for the benefit of the most deprived persons and should be in addition to the programme rather than being taken from the allocated budgets for Member States.

Your rapporteur proposes to remove the provision for co-financing, which for some Member States, particularly those facing severe economic and financial difficulties, could prove to be a barrier to accessing the Fund. Helping to eradicate hunger, homelessness and material deprivation should not depend on Member States' capability to co-finance.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the

committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) In line with the conclusions of the European Council of 17 June 2010, whereby the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth was adopted, the Union and the Member States have set themselves the objective of having at least 20 million fewer people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020.

(1) In line with the conclusions of the European Council of 17 June 2010, whereby the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth was adopted, the Union and the Member States have set themselves the objective of having at least 20 million fewer people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020. However, the number of people faced with poverty or social exclusion undeniably rose from 23,4% in 2010 to 24,2% in 2011.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter the 'Fund') should strengthen social cohesion by contributing to the reduction of poverty in the Union by supporting national schemes that provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons to alleviate food deprivation, homelessness and material deprivation of children.

(4) The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter the 'Fund') should strengthen social cohesion by contributing to the reduction of poverty in the Union by supporting national schemes that provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter the ‘Fund’) should strengthen social cohesion by contributing to the reduction of poverty in the Union by supporting national schemes that provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons to alleviate food deprivation, homelessness and material deprivation of children.

(4) The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter the ‘Fund’) should strengthen social cohesion by contributing to the reduction of poverty in the Union by supporting, primarily through the provision of food supplies, national schemes that provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons to alleviate food deprivation, homelessness and material deprivation of children.

Justification

The symbolic amount offered in this Fund should focus primarily on emergency food provision. However, the Fund should in no way be seen by Member States as an opportunity for them to reduce the budgets of their national poverty eradication and social reintegration programmes, which remain a Member State responsibility.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4a) The Fund cannot replace public policies undertaken by Member State governments to limit the need for emergency good aid and to develop sustainable targets and policies for full eradication of hunger, poverty and social exclusion.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) The operational programme of each Member State should identify and justify the forms of material deprivation to be addressed, and describe the objectives and features of the assistance to the most deprived persons that will be provided through the support of national schemes. It should also include elements necessary to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the operational programme.

(8) The operational programme of each Member State should identify and justify the forms of material deprivation to be addressed, and describe the objectives and features of the assistance to the most deprived persons that will be provided through the support of national schemes. Access to food aid should be the first deprivation to be addressed by the Member States. It should also include elements necessary to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the operational programme.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) It is necessary to establish a maximum level of co-financing from the Fund to the operational programmes to provide for a multiplier effect of Union resources, while the situation of Member States facing temporary budget difficulties should be addressed.

deleted

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

17. [Proposal for a] Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation)5 provides that products bought under public intervention may be disposed of by making them available for the scheme for food distribution to the most deprived in the Union if that scheme so provides. Given that, depending on the circumstances, obtaining of food from the use, processing or sale of such stocks might be economically the most favourable option, it is appropriate to provide for such a possibility in this Regulation. The amounts derived from a transaction concerning the stocks should be used for the benefit of the most deprived, and should not be applied so as to diminish the obligation of the Member States to cofinance the programme. In order to ensure the most efficient possible use of the intervention stocks and the proceeds thereof, the Commission should in accordance with Article 19(e) of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO] adopt implementing acts establishing procedures by which the products in intervention stocks may be used, processed or sold for the purposes of the most deprived programme.

(17) Regulation (EU) No. ... of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products of .../20xx (Single CMO Regulation) provides that products bought under public intervention may be disposed of by making them available for the scheme for food distribution to the most deprived in the Union if that scheme so provides. Given that, depending on the circumstances, obtaining of food from the use, processing or sale of such stocks might be economically the most favourable option, it is appropriate to provide for such a possibility in this Regulation. The amounts derived from a transaction concerning the stocks should be used for the benefit of the most deprived and should not diminish the allocated budget per Member State. In order to ensure the most efficient possible use of the intervention stocks and the proceeds thereof, the Commission should in accordance with Article 19(e) of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO] adopt implementing acts establishing procedures by which the products in intervention stocks may be used, processed or sold for the purposes of the most deprived programme.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21) Member States should designate a managing authority, a certifying authority and a functionally independent auditing authority for their operational programme. To provide flexibility for Member States in the set-up of control systems, it is appropriate to provide the option for the functions of the certifying authority to be carried out by the managing authority. The Member States should also be allowed to designate intermediate bodies to carry out certain tasks of the managing authority or the certifying authority. The Member States should in that case lay down clearly their respective responsibilities and functions.

(21) Member States should designate a managing authority, a certifying authority and a functionally independent auditing authority for their operational programme. To provide flexibility for Member States in the set-up of control systems, it is appropriate to provide the option for the functions of the certifying authority to be carried out by the managing authority. The Member States should also be allowed to designate intermediate bodies to carry out certain tasks of the managing authority or the certifying authority. The Member States should in that case lay down clearly their respective responsibilities and functions. The Member States should make every effort to eliminate obstacles arising from administrative burdens possibly affecting charitable organisations.

 

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(25) Without prejudice to the Commission's powers as regards financial control, cooperation between the Member States and the Commission in the framework of this Regulation should be ensured and criteria should be established which allow the Commission to determine, in the context of its strategy of control of national systems, the level of assurance it should obtain from national audit bodies.

(25) Without prejudice to the Commission's powers as regards financial control, cooperation between the Member States and the Commission in the framework of this Regulation should be ensured and criteria should be established which allow the Commission to determine, in the context of its strategy of control of national systems, the level of assurance it should obtain from national audit bodies. The Commission must make every effort to ensure that the criteria are not so exacting as to add to the administrative burden of beneficiaries, given the nature of the Fund and the fact that most of the beneficiaries operate on a voluntary basis.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 42 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(42a) Given the date on which invitations to tender must be issued and the deadlines for adoption of this Regulation and the preparation of the operational programmes, rules should be drawn up to facilitate a flexible transition in 2014, so as to avoid any interruption in supplies.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 42 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(42a) If for any reason it appears that this regulation cannot be operational on 1 January 2014, the Commission should take transitional measures to prevent the interruption or reduction of aid from the EU budget to the most deprived.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. If, for any reason, it appears that this regulation cannot be operational on 1 January 2014, the Commission should take transitional measures to prevent the interruption or reduction of aid from the EU budget to the most deprived.

 

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – subparagraph 1 – point 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) 'most deprived persons' means physical persons, whether individuals, families, households or groups composed of such persons, whose need for assistance has been established according to the objective criteria adopted by the national competent authorities, or defined by the partner organisations and which are approved by those competent authorities;

(1) 'most deprived persons' means physical persons, whether individuals, families, households or groups composed of such persons, whose need for assistance has been established according to the objective criteria adopted by the national competent authorities, or in cooperation with the partner organisations and which are approved by those competent authorities;

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – subparagraph 1 – point 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7) 'end recipient' means the most deprived persons receiving the food or goods and/or benefiting from the accompanying measures;

(7) 'end recipient' means the most deprived persons receiving the food or goods and/or benefiting from the accompanying measures, as defined by the Member States in accordance with their national criteria;

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – subparagraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The Fund shall be used to complement national strategies, not to replace or reduce national, long-term, sustainable poverty eradication and social inclusion programmes, which remain the responsibility of Member States.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Fund shall support national schemes whereby food products and basic consumer goods for the personal use of homeless persons or of children are distributed to the most deprived persons through partner organisations selected by Member States.

1. The Fund shall support national schemes whereby food products and basic consumer goods for the personal use of end recipients are distributed to the most deprived persons through partner organisations selected by Member States.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The global resources available for budgetary commitment from the Fund for the period 2014-2020 shall be EUR 2 500 000 000 at 2011 prices, in accordance with the annual breakdown set out in Annex II.

1. The global resources available for budgetary commitment from the Fund for the period 2014-2020 shall be not less in real terms than the 2007-2013 allocation for the European food aid programme for deprived persons.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3 – point b a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ba) the population in risk of poverty

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Each Member State shall submit to the Commission one operational programme covering the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020 within three months of the entry into force of this Regulation, containing the following items:

Each Member State wishing to apply for assistance from the Fund shall submit to the Commission one operational programme covering the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020 within three months of the entry into force of this Regulation, containing the following items:

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Each Member State shall submit to the Commission one operational programme covering the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020 within three months of the entry into force of this Regulation, containing the following items:

Each Member State shall submit to the Commission one operational programme covering the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020 within three months of the entry into force of this Regulation. The programme, which should complement other measures being taken at Member State level, shall contain the following items:

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point f

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(f) a description of the mechanism used to ensure complementarity with the European Social Fund;

(f) a description of the mechanism used to ensure complementarity with the European Social Fund showing a clear demarcation line between activities covered by those two funds;

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point j – point i

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

i) a table specifying for each year in accordance with Article 18 the amount of the financial appropriation envisaged for support from the Fund and the co-financing in accordance with Article 18;

i) a table specifying for each year in accordance with Article 18 the amount of the financial appropriation envisaged for support from the Fund;

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – subparagraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

This platform shall include encouraging an exchange between all those working on immediate material deprivation alleviation and organisations working for longer-term, sustainable social reintegration, and looking at how links could be developed between these different objectives.

Justification

The provision of emergency food aid is very different to the work undertaken by organisations working on long-term poverty eradication, often requiring special training and/or qualifications. However, there could well be ways in which different organisations with different roles could increase their impact by working together and the Commission should enable these exchanges to take place.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 8 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

8a. The procedure concerning implementation reports shall not be excessive in comparison to the funds allocated and to the nature of the support and shall not cause the unnecessary administrative burdens.

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Evaluations shall be carried out by experts that are functionally independent of the authorities responsible for operational programme implementation. All evaluations shall be made public in their entirety.

2. Evaluations shall be carried out by experts that are functionally independent of the authorities responsible for operational programme implementation. All evaluations shall be made public in their entirety but may under no circumstances include information regarding the identity of individual beneficiaries.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. The evaluations shall not be excessive in comparison to the funds allocated and to the nature of the support and shall not cause the unnecessary administrative burdens.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. In processing personal data pursuant to this Article, the managing authority as well as the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall comply with Directive 95/46/EC.

6. In processing personal data pursuant to Articles 13-17, the managing authority as well as the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall comply with Directive 95/46/EC.

 

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Co-financing

Financing

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The co-financing rate at the level of the operational programme shall not be higher than 85% of the public eligible expenditure.

1. The financing rate at the level of the operational programme shall be 100% of the public eligible expenditure. Member States may supplement the Fund on a voluntary basis in order to optimise the use thereof, given the increased number of people in need in Europe.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission decision adopting an operational programme shall fix the co-financing rate applicable to the operational programme and the maximum amount of support from the Fund.

2. The Commission decision adopting an operational programme shall fix the maximum amount of support from the Fund.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 19

deleted

Increase in payments for Member States with temporary budgetary difficulties

 

1. At the request of a Member State, interim payments and payments of the final balance may be increased by 10 percentage points above the co-financing rate applicable to the operational programme. The increased rate, which can not exceed 100%, shall apply to requests for payment relating to the accounting period in which the Member State has submitted its request and subsequent accounting periods during which the Member State meets one of the following conditions:

 

(h) where the Member State concerned has adopted the euro, it receives macro-financial assistance from the Union in accordance with Council Regulation (EU) No 407/2010 ;

 

(i) where the Member State concerned has not adopted the euro, it receives medium-term financial assistance in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 332/2002 ;

 

(j) financial assistance is made available to it in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism.

 

2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, Union support through interim payments and payments of the final balance shall not be higher than the public support and the maximum amount of support from the Fund, as laid down in the Commission decision approving the operational programme.

 

Justification

According to the budgetary draft opinion by Mr Vaughan, the financing should be at the level of 100% and Article 19 is therefore no longer applicable.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The food and the goods for homeless persons or for children may be purchased by the partner organisations themselves.

The food and the goods for end recipients may be purchased by the partner organisations themselves.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 3 – second subparagraph

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

They may also be purchased by a public body and made available free of charge to the partner organisations. In that case, the food may be obtained from the use, processing or sale of the products in intervention stocks made available in accordance with Article 15 of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO], provided that this is economically the most favourable option and does not unduly delay the delivery of the food products to the partner organisations. Any amount derived from a transaction concerning those stocks shall be used for the benefit of the most deprived persons, and shall not be applied so as to diminish the obligation of the Member States, provided in Article 18 of this Regulation, to co-finance the programme.

They may also be purchased by a public body and made available free of charge to the partner organisations. In that case, the food may be obtained from the use, processing or sale of the products in intervention stocks made available in accordance with Article 15 of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO], provided that this is economically the most favourable option and does not unduly delay the delivery of the food products to the partner organisations. Any amount derived from a transaction concerning those stocks shall be used for the benefit of the most deprived persons. It shall be in addition to the programme and shall not diminish the allocated budget for the Member States.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) the costs of purchasing food and basic consumer goods for personal use of homeless persons or of children;

(a) the costs of purchasing food and basic consumer goods for personal use of end recipients.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) where a public body purchases the food or basic consumer goods for personal use of homeless persons or of children and provide them to partner organisations, the costs of transporting of food or goods to the storage depots of the partner organisations at a flat rate of 1 % of the costs referred to in point (a);

(b) where a public body purchases the food or basic consumer goods for personal use of end recipients and provide them to partner organisations, the costs of transporting of food or goods to the storage depots of the partner organisations at a flat rate of 1 % of the costs referred to in point (a);

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 42 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. Subject to available funding, the Commission shall make the interim payment no later than 60 days after the date on which a payment application is registered with the Commission.

5. Subject to available funding, the Commission shall make the interim payment no later than 30 days after the date on which a payment application is registered with the Commission.

PROCEDURE

Title

Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

References

COM(2012)0617 – C7-0358/2012 – 2012/0295(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

EMPL

19.11.2012

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

19.11.2012

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Derek Vaughan

18.12.2012

Date adopted

26.3.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

33

4

0

Members present for the final vote

Marta Andreasen, Richard Ashworth, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Jean Louis Cottigny, Jean-Luc Dehaene, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Jutta Haug, Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Anne E. Jensen, Ivailo Kalfin, Jan Kozłowski, Alain Lamassoure, Giovanni La Via, George Lyon, Claudio Morganti, Jan Mulder, Vojtěch Mynář, Nadezhda Neynsky, Dominique Riquet, László Surján, Helga Trüpel, Angelika Werthmann, Jacek Włosowicz

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Burkhard Balz, Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Frédéric Daerden, Hynek Fajmon, Charles Goerens, Jürgen Klute, María Muñiz De Urquiza, Georgios Stavrakakis, Catherine Trautmann


OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control (24.4.2013)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

(COM(2012)0617 – C7-0358/2012 – 2012/0295(COD))

Rapporteur: Theodoros Skylakakis

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Budgetary Control calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments into its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) The number of persons suffering from material or even severe material deprivation in the Union is increasing and those persons are often too excluded to benefit from the activation measures of Regulation (EU) No […CPR], and, in particular of Regulation (EU) No […ESF].

(2) The number of persons suffering from material or even severe material deprivation in the Union is increasing and those persons are often too excluded to benefit from the activation measures of Regulation (EU) No […CPR], and, in particular of Regulation (EU) No […ESF]. The criteria for determining such persons should correspond to the changing economic and social conditions.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5) Under Article 317 of the Treaty, and in the context of shared management, the conditions allowing the Commission to exercise its responsibilities for implementation of the general budget of the Union should be specified and the responsibilities in terms of cooperation by the Member States clarified. Those conditions should enable the Commission to obtain assurance that Member States are using the Fund in a legal and regular manner and in accordance with the principle of sound financial management within the meaning of Council Regulation No […] on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (hereinafter ‘the Financial Regulation').

(5) Under Article 317 of the Treaty, and in the context of shared management, the conditions allowing the Commission to exercise its responsibilities for implementation of the general budget of the Union should be specified and the responsibilities in terms of cooperation by the Member States clarified. Those conditions should enable the Commission to obtain assurance that Member States are using the Fund in a legal and regular manner and in accordance with the principle of sound financial management within the meaning of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union1 (‘the Financial Regulation'). In exercising its responsibilities for implementation of the budget, the Commission should make increased use of, and promote, performance audits.

 

____________

 

1OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) Those provisions also ensure that the operations supported shall comply with applicable Union and national laws, notably in regard to the safety of the goods that are distributed to the most deprived persons.

(6) Those provisions should be consistent with the provisions of the Financial Regulation and also ensure that the operations supported shall comply with other applicable Union and national laws, notably in regard to the safety of the goods that are distributed to the most deprived persons.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 30

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(30) In order to safeguard the Union's financial interests, there should be measures limited in time that allow the authorising officer by delegation to interrupt payments where there is evidence to suggest a significant deficiency in the functioning of the management and control system, evidence of irregularities linked to a payment application, or a failure to submit documents for the purpose of the examination and acceptance of accounts.

(30) In order to safeguard the Union's financial interests, there should be measures limited in time that allow the authorising officer by delegation to interrupt payments where there is evidence to suggest a significant deficiency in the functioning of the management and control system, evidence of irregularities linked to a payment application, or a failure to submit documents for the purpose of the examination and acceptance of accounts or serious delays in project implementation, with substantiated evidence that the objectives set for the projects in question are not being met.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Fund shall promote social cohesion in the Union by contributing to achieving the poverty reduction target of at least 20 million of the number of persons at risk of poverty and social exclusion in accordance with the Europe 2020 strategy. The Fund shall contribute to achieving the specific objective of alleviating the worst forms of poverty in the Union by providing non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons. This objective shall be measured by the number of persons receiving assistance from the Fund.

The Fund shall promote social cohesion in the Union by contributing to achieving the poverty reduction target of at least 20 million of the number of persons at risk of poverty and social exclusion in accordance with the Europe 2020 strategy. The Fund shall contribute to achieving the specific objective of alleviating the worst forms of poverty in the Union by providing non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons. This objective shall be measured by the number of persons receiving assistance from the Fund. The Fund shall seek to ensure that nobody in the Union goes hungry.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Fund shall support national schemes whereby food products and basic consumer goods for the personal use of homeless persons or of children are distributed to the most deprived persons through partner organisations selected by Member States.

1. The Fund shall support national schemes whereby food products and basic consumer goods for the use of the most deprived persons, and in particular homeless persons and children, are distributed to the most deprived persons through partner organisations selected by Member States.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12) The part of the Union budget allocated to the Fund shall be implemented within the framework of shared management between the Member States and the Commission, in accordance with Article 55(1)(b) of the Financial Regulation, with the exception of technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission, which shall be implemented in the framework of direct management in accordance with Article 55(1)(a) of the Financial Regulation.

1. The part of the Union budget allocated to the Fund shall be implemented within the framework of shared management between the Member States and the Commission, in accordance with Article 58(1)(b) of the Financial Regulation, with the exception of technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission, which shall be implemented in the framework of direct management in accordance with Article 58(1)(a) of the Financial Regulation.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18) The Commission and the Member States and the beneficiaries shall apply the principle of sound financial management in accordance with Article 26 of the Financial Regulation.

7. The Commission and the Member States and the beneficiaries shall apply the principle of sound financial management in accordance with Article 30 of the Financial Regulation.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Each Member State shall submit to the Commission one operational programme covering the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020 within three months of the entry into force of this Regulation, containing the following items:

1. Each Member State shall submit to the Commission one operational programme covering the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020 within four months of the entry into force of this Regulation, containing the following items:

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) a description of the mechanism setting the eligibility criteria for the most deprived persons, differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

(c) a description of the mechanism setting the eligibility criteria for the most deprived persons, differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed; the description shall take into consideration newly deprived people with negative income and homeowners in negative equity;

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Commission shall, by means of implementing acts, approve the amendment of an operational programme no later than five months after their formal submission by the Member State provided that any observations made by the Commission have been satisfactorily taken into account.

3. The Commission shall, by means of implementing acts, approve the amendment of an operational programme no later than three months after their formal submission by the Member State provided that any observations made by the Commission have been satisfactorily taken into account.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In addition, the Commission shall consult, at least once a year, the organisations which represent the partner organisations at Union level on the implementation of support from the Fund.

In addition, the Commission shall consult, at least once a year, the organisations which represent the partner organisations at Union level on the implementation of support from the Fund. The outcome of these consultations shall be reported to the European Parliament.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 3 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) the contribution to the Union objective of at least 20 million fewer people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020, having regard to the selected type of material deprivation to be addressed, taking into account national circumstances in terms of poverty and social exclusion and material deprivation;

(a) the contribution to the Union objective of at least 20 million fewer people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020, having regard to the selected type of material deprivation to be addressed, taking into account national circumstances in terms of poverty and social exclusion and material deprivation as well as people with negative income and property and those most in need and endangered by poverty;

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The managing authority shall carry out a structured survey on end recipients in 2017 and 2021, in accordance with the template provided by the Commission. The Commission shall adopt the template by means of an implementing act. This implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 60(2).

2. The managing authority shall carry out a structured survey on end recipients in 2017 and 2021, in accordance with the template provided by the Commission. The Commission shall adopt the template by means of an implementing act. This implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 60(2). The template, while corresponding to the objectives of the assessment process, shall comply with the principle of administrative simplification.

Amendment   15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

At its own initiative and in close cooperation with the Member States, the Commission shall carry out, with the assistance of external experts, an ex-post evaluation, to assess the effectiveness and sustainability of results obtained as well as to measure the added value of the Fund. This ex post evaluation shall be completed by 31 December 2023.

At its own initiative and in close cooperation with the Member States, the Commission shall carry out, with the assistance of external experts, an ex-post evaluation, to assess the effectiveness and sustainability of results obtained as well as to measure the added value of the Fund, with regard to the newly deprived people with negative income and homeowners in negative equity. This ex post evaluation shall be completed by 31 December 2023.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. During the implementation of an operation, the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall inform the public about the support obtained from the Fund by placing at least one poster with information about the operation (minimum size A3), including about the financial support from the Union, at a location readily visible to the public, at each place of provision of the food, goods and any accompanying measure, except if this is not possible due to the circumstances of the distribution.

3. During the implementation of an operation, the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall inform the public about the support obtained from the Fund by placing at least one poster with information about the operation (minimum size A3), including about the financial support from the Union, at a location readily accessible and visible to the public, at each place of provision of the food, goods and any accompanying measure, except if this is not possible due to the circumstances of the distribution. The beneficiaries and partner organisations shall ensure that the elderly and people with disabilities have access to this information.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The food and the goods for homeless persons or for children may be purchased by the partner organisations themselves.

3. The food and the goods for the most deprived persons, and in particular for homeless persons or children, may be purchased by the partner organisations themselves.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(o) the costs of purchasing food and basic consumer goods for personal use of homeless persons or of children;

(a) the costs of purchasing food and basic consumer goods for the personal use of the most deprived persons, and in particular homeless persons or children;

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(p) where a public body purchases the food or basic consumer goods for personal use of homeless persons or of children and provide them to partner organisations, the costs of transporting of food or goods to the storage depots of the partner organisations at a flat rate of 1 % of the costs referred to in point (a);

(b) where a public body purchases the food or basic consumer goods for the use of the most deprived persons, and in particular homeless persons or children, and provides them to partner organisations, the costs of transporting of food or goods to the storage depots of the partner organisations at a flat rate of 1 % of the costs referred to in point (a);

Amendment 20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 27 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. All official exchanges of information between the Member State and the Commission shall be carried out using an electronic data exchange system established in compliance with the terms and conditions laid down by the Commission by means of implementing acts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 60(3).

4. All official exchanges of information between the Member State and the Commission shall be carried out using an electronic data exchange system established in compliance with the terms and conditions laid down by the Commission by means of a delegated act, in accordance with Article 59.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 28 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The Member State shall designate a national public authority or body, functionally independent from the managing authority and the certifying authority, as audit authority.

4. The Member State shall designate a national public authority or body, functionally independent from the managing authority and the certifying authority, as audit authority. The national audit office or the national court of auditors may be designated as the audit authority.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29 – paragraph 4 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(o) draw up the management declaration and annual summary referred to in Article 56 (5)(a) and (b) of the Financial Regulation.

(e) draw up the management declaration and annual summary referred to in Article 59 (5)(a) and (b) of the Financial Regulation.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 30 – paragraph 1 – point 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. drawing up the annual accounts referred to in Article 56 (5) (a) of the Financial Regulation;

2. drawing up the annual accounts referred to in Article 59 (5) (a) of the Financial Regulation;

Amendment 24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 31 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The audit authority shall, within six months of adoption of the operational programme, prepare an audit strategy for performance of audits. The audit strategy shall set out the audit methodology, the sampling method for audits on operations and the planning of audits in relation to the current accounting year and the two subsequent accounting years. The audit strategy shall be updated annually from 2016 until and including 2022. The audit authority shall submit the audit strategy to the Commission upon request.

4. The audit authority shall, within six months of adoption of the operational programme, prepare an audit strategy for performance of audits. The audit strategy shall set out the audit methodology, the sampling method for audits on operations and the planning of audits in relation to the current accounting year and the two subsequent accounting years. The audit strategy shall be updated annually from 2016 until and including 2022. The audit authority shall submit the audit strategy to the Commission. The Commission shall be empowered to request that the audit authority introduces changes to its audit strategy, which, in its view, are necessary for ensuring that audits are carried out in a proper manner, in accordance with the internationally accepted audit standards. In doing so the Commission shall ensure that performance audit has been sufficiently taken into account.

Amendment 25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 31 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(r) an audit opinion in accordance with Article 56 (5) of the Financial Regulation;

(a) an audit opinion in accordance with Article 59(5) of the Financial Regulation;

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 31 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. The Commission shall adopt, by means of implementing acts, models for the audit strategy, the audit opinion and the annual control report, as well as the methodology for the sampling method referred to in paragraph 4. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 60(3).

6. The Commission shall adopt, by means of delegated acts, models for the audit strategy, the audit opinion and the annual control report, as well as the methodology for the sampling method referred to in paragraph 4. Those delegated acts shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 59.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 33 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Commission may require a Member State to take the actions necessary to ensure the effective functioning of their management and control systems or the correctness of expenditure in accordance with this Regulation.

3. The Commission shall require Member States to take the actions necessary to ensure the effective functioning of their management and control systems or the correctness of expenditure in accordance with this Regulation.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 35 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The budget commitments of the Union in respect of each operational programme shall be made in annual instalments during the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020. The decision of the Commission adopting the operational programme shall constitute the financing decision within the meaning of Article 81(2) of the Financial Regulation and once notified to the Member State concerned, a legal commitment within the meaning of that Regulation.

The budget commitments of the Union in respect of each operational programme shall be made in annual instalments during the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020. The decision of the Commission adopting the operational programme shall constitute the financing decision within the meaning of Article 84(2) of the Financial Regulation and once notified to the Member State concerned, a legal commitment within the meaning of that Regulation.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 45 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. For each year from 2015 until and including 2022, by 15 February of the year following the end of the accounting period, the designated bodies shall submit to the Commission the following documents and information in accordance with Article 56 of the Financial Regulation:

1. For each year from 2015 until and including 2022, by 15 February of the year following the end of the accounting period, the designated bodies shall submit to the Commission the following documents and information in accordance with Article 59 of the Financial Regulation:

(dd) the certified annual accounts of the relevant bodies designated pursuant to Article 32 as referred to in Article 56(5) of the Financial Regulation;

(a) the certified annual accounts of the relevant bodies designated pursuant to Article 32 as referred to in Article 59(5) of the Financial Regulation;

(ee) the management declaration as referred to in Article 56(5) of the Financial Regulation;

(b) the management declaration as referred to in Article 59(5) of the Financial Regulation;

(ff) an annual summary of the final audit reports and of controls carried out, including an analysis of the nature and extent of errors and of weaknesses, as well as corrective actions taken or planned;

(c) an annual summary of the final audit reports and of controls carried out, including an analysis of the nature and extent of errors and of weaknesses, as well as corrective actions taken or planned;

(gg) an audit opinion by the designated independent audit body as referred in Article 56(5) of the Financial Regulation, accompanied by a control report setting out the findings of the audits carried out relating to the accounting year covered by the opinion.

(d) an audit opinion by the designated independent audit body as referred in Article 59(5) of the Financial Regulation, accompanied by a control report setting out the findings of the audits carried out relating to the accounting year covered by the opinion.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 48 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The managing authority shall ensure that all supporting documents on operations are made available to the Commission and the European Court of Auditors upon request for a period of three years. This three year period shall run from 31 December of the year of the decision on acceptance of accounts by the Commission pursuant to Article 47 or, at the latest, from the date of payment of the final balance.

1. The managing authority shall ensure that all supporting documents on operations are made available to the Commission and the European Court of Auditors upon request for a period of five years. This five year period shall run from the date of payment of the final balance.

This three year period shall be interrupted either in the case of legal or administrative proceedings or by a duly justified request of the Commission.

This five year period shall be interrupted either in the case of legal or administrative proceedings or by a duly justified request of the Commission.

PROCEDURE

Title

Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

References

COM(2012)0617 – C7-0358/2012 – 2012/0295(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

EMPL

19.11.2012

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

CONT

19.11.2012

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Theodoros Skylakakis

3.12.2012

Date adopted

23.4.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

18

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Zigmantas Balčytis, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Andrea Češková, Tamás Deutsch, Jens Geier, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Ingeborg Gräßle, Monica Luisa Macovei, Jan Mulder, Eva Ortiz Vilella, Monika Panayotova, Crescenzio Rivellini, Theodoros Skylakakis, Bart Staes, Michael Theurer

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Cornelis de Jong, Karin Kadenbach, Ivailo Kalfin, Derek Vaughan


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (27.3.2013)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

(COM(2012)0617 – C7-0358/2012 – 2012/0295(COD))

Rapporteur for the opinion: Younous Omarjee

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Your rapporteur notes the ruling of the European Court of Justice of 13 April 2011 which heralded the end of the European Programme of Food Aid for the Most Deprived Persons (MDP) set up in 1986, which had been in existence for 25 years. The MDP programme was based on the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy and worked on the principle of redistributing agricultural surpluses to the most deprived persons. Your rapporteur rejects the European Council’s Agreement of 8 February 2013 on the Multiannual Financial Framework, which reduced that funding from EUR 3.5 to 2.5 billion. Your rapporteur considers that maintaining the amount allocated for the current period (2007-2013), EUR 3.5 billion, is the absolute minimum required, and the funding should have been increased to over EUR 4.5 billion, given that the scope of the programme has been simultaneously extended to include the distribution of goods and to cover seven new Member States. However, your rapporteur welcomes the Commission proposal to establish a new fund, the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) to replace the MDP. The new fund proposed by the Commission, which takes account of the European Court of Justice’s ruling, will be brought within the scope of cohesion policy (Article 174 TFEU).

The overarching objective of combating poverty and social exclusion is one of the European Union’s founding principles (Article 9 TFEU and Article 3 TEU). The Union has also set itself the objective of reducing by at least 20 million by the year 2020 the number of people experiencing, or at risk of, poverty and social exclusion in the Member States. 

We are very far from achieving that objective at present, however. In 2010, almost a quarter of all Europeans (119.6 million) were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, of whom over 18 million Europeans were estimated to depend almost on a daily basis on food parcels or meals provided by voluntary organisations and charities. There has also been a steady and alarming increase in the number of people suffering from food deprivation and material deprivation in the last few years. More and more of our fellow-citizens are relying on food aid. The financial, economic and social crisis which is affecting all the Member States is placing additional responsibilities on the European Union, particularly in view of the increasing inequality between rich and poor not only within the Union, but also within the Member States.

The FEAD is intended, therefore, on the basis of Article 174 of the TFEU, to enhance social cohesion and combat poverty within the European Union. The aim is to use this new fund as a means of increasing social cohesion within the Union by supporting the systems which provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived people at national level, and thereby help to reduce the increasingly alarming incidence of food and material deprivation within the Union.

Your rapporteur has a considerable number of reservations concerning the Commission’s initial proposal.

Co-financing

The Commission proposal requires Member States or local authorities to co-finance FEAD programmes by providing 15% of the funding. As the Committee of Regions has also pointed out, at the present time of public expenditure cuts, it is unlikely that the States and local authorities which are under the most pressure will be able to co-finance FEAD programmes.

The Fund’s cumbersome administrative procedures

Co-financing arrangements and the overall system for distributing foodstuffs and basic goods must continue to be simple and straightforward. The fund’s priority must be to enable charities to continue their work while taking account of the fact that they are often voluntary organisations. There must be continuity between the new regulation and the rules which applied to the MDP in the years 2012 and 2013. It is against this background that your rapporteur proposes streamlining the fund, in particular by abolishing the certifying, managing and auditing authorities. Your rapporteur also proposes to remove the requirement for the Member States to define criteria for identifying the people eligible to benefit from the fund. The Commission should have confidence in the Member States and the charities and voluntary organisations, whose work in the field of distributing foodstuffs and goods has been remarkable and exemplary.

Objectives of the FEAD

Extending the scope of the fund to material assistance is justified, given that the most deprived people in Europe are not only short of food, but also suffer from material deprivation. If the budget allocated to the FEAD by the Heads of State is not enough to allow this extension of the fund’s activities, food aid must continue to be the priority, with the aim being to avoid spreading resources too thinly and thus detracting from the fund’s ability to meet its objectives effectively. It is because having enough food to eat is a fundamental requirement for social integration that the provision of food aid is an essential prerequisite for policies aimed at preventing social exclusion. Your rapporteur supports the argument that the FEAD should be primarily geared towards distributing food.

As solidarity is one of the values underpinning the European Union, the FEAD symbolises the importance of European integration in the eyes of its citizens. The public would not understand why the Union was turning its back on the most vulnerable, and reducing the aid to the poorest would increase the growing unpopularity of the European institutions with the peoples they serve.

Your rapporteur strongly believes that Parliament must act, together with the charities and voluntary associations, to ensure that this fund can operate efficiently and, above all, on behalf of the most deprived people and the charitable organisations which work with them every day.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments into its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) In line with the conclusions of the European Council of 17 June 2010, whereby the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth was adopted, the Union and the Member States have set themselves the objective of having at least 20 million fewer people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020.

(1) The provision of food products and agricultural products is a very worthwhile means of assisting the most deprived, and, in line with the conclusions of the European Council of 17 June 2010, whereby the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth was adopted, the Union and the Member States have set themselves the objective of having at least 20 million fewer people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(1a) Since 1987, following a particularly severe winter in Europe, the Union has provided its most deprived citizens with direct food aid from agricultural stocks through charitable organisations. The temporary assistance provided at that time has been placed on a permanent footing by means of a European scheme, the European Food Distribution Programme for the Most Deprived Persons. At the same time, other supply sources have been developed, such as surplus stock from local and regional supermarkets, partnerships with local farmers, restaurants and grocery shops acting in solidarity, etc.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(1b) On 29 October 1992, the European Food Distribution Programme for the Most Deprived Persons of the Community (PEAD) was consolidated by means of an implementing regulation.

Amendment 4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(1c) In 2010, around 119.6 million people, 25 million of them children, were at risk of social exclusion or poverty in the EU, and of those, 40 million were suffering from severe material deprivation and 4.1 million were homeless, which represents an increase of around 4 million over the previous year. Of those 119.6 million, 18 million were dependent almost every day on food parcels or meals distributed by charitable associations.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) The number of persons suffering from material or even severe material deprivation in the Union is increasing and those persons are often too excluded to benefit from the activation measures of Regulation (EU) No […CPR], and, in particular of Regulation (EU) No […ESF].

(2) The number of homeless persons and persons suffering from material or even severe food and/or material deprivation in the Union is increasing and those persons are often too excluded to benefit from the activation measures of Regulation (EU) No […CPR], and, in particular of Regulation (EU) No […ESF].

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter the 'Fund') should strengthen social cohesion by contributing to the reduction of poverty in the Union by supporting national schemes that provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons to alleviate food deprivation, homelessness and material deprivation of children.

(4) The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter the 'Fund') aims to strengthen social cohesion by contributing to the reduction of poverty and social exclusion in the Union by supporting national schemes that provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons to alleviate all forms of deprivation and poverty.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4a) Food security is a basic human right and is achieved by ensuring the availability and accessibility of stable and sufficient supplies of appropriate, healthy and nutritious food.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) Those provisions also ensure that the operations supported shall comply with applicable Union and national laws, notably in regard to the safety of the goods that are distributed to the most deprived persons.

(6) Those provisions also ensure that the operations supported shall comply with applicable Union and national laws, notably in regard to the safety of the goods and food that are distributed to the most deprived persons.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6a) The provisions governing the Fund should ensure consistency with the strategies and measures to reduce food wastage along the entire supply chain, make the food supply chain more efficient and raise public awareness of this important issue that are set out in the European Parliament resolution of 19 January 2012.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7) In order to set out an appropriate financial framework, the Commission should establish, by means of implementing acts, an annual breakdown of global resources by Member State using an objective and transparent method reflecting disparities in terms of poverty and material deprivation.

(7) In order to set out an appropriate financial framework, the Commission should establish, by means of implementing acts, an annual breakdown of global resources by Member State using an objective and transparent method reflecting differences in development between regions and disparities in terms of poverty, relative poverty and food and material deprivation which exist within each Member State, taking into account the number of people classifiable in each Member State as ‘most deprived’ and also of the amounts that were allocated to Member States participating in the Food Distribution Programme.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) The operational programme of each Member State should identify and justify the forms of material deprivation to be addressed, and describe the objectives and features of the assistance to the most deprived persons that will be provided through the support of national schemes. It should also include elements necessary to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the operational programme.

(8) The operational programme of each Member State should identify and justify the forms of food and/or material deprivation to be addressed, and describe the objectives and features of the assistance to the most deprived persons that will be provided through the support of national schemes. It should also include elements necessary to ensure effective, speedy and efficient implementation of the operational programme, particularly with regard to tackling food waste.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(8a) Member States should have the option of giving preference to products of Union origin.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(8b) With a view to ensuring the effective and efficient implementation of the measures financed from the Fund, cooperation should be fostered between regional and local authorities and bodies representing civil society. Member States therefore need to promote the participation of all those involved in drawing up and implementing measures financed from the Fund.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) In order to maximise effectiveness of the Fund, in particular as regards the national circumstances, it is appropriate to set out a procedure for potential amendment of the operational programme.

(9) In order to maximise effectiveness of the Fund, in particular as regards the national circumstances, it is appropriate to set out a procedure for potential amendment of the operational programme, also taking account of the opinions of non-governmental organisations involved in implementing the programme.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) Exchanges of experience and best practices have a significant added value and the Commission should facilitate such dissemination.

(10) Exchanges of experience and best practices, as well as social innovation, have a significant added value and the Commission and the competent authorities of the Member States should facilitate their dissemination and promotion, including by organising training schemes and developing a platform for cooperation at Union level covering all interested parties.

.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12) In order to improve the quality and design of each operational programme and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Fund, ex ante and ex post evaluations should be conducted. Those evaluations should be supplemented by surveys on the most deprived persons who have benefited from the operational programme and, if necessary, by evaluations during the programming period. The responsibilities of Member States and the Commission in this respect should be specified.

(12) In order to improve the quality and design of each operational programme and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Fund, evaluations should be conducted.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) Citizens have the right to know how the Union’s financial resources are invested and to what effects. For the purpose of ensuring wide dissemination of information about the achievements of the Fund and to ensure accessibility and transparency of funding opportunities, detailed rules about information and communication, especially in relation to the responsibilities of the Member States and the beneficiaries, should be set out.

(13) Citizens have the right to know how the Union’s financial resources are invested and to what effects. For the purpose of ensuring wide publicity and dissemination of information about the achievements of the Fund and to ensure accessibility and transparency of funding opportunities, simple rules about information, communication and publicity, and the responsibilities of local and regional authorities in the Member States and the beneficiaries in this respect, should be set out.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) It is necessary to establish a maximum level of co-financing from the Fund to the operational programmes to provide for a multiplier effect of Union resources, while the situation of Member States facing temporary budget difficulties should be addressed.

(15) It is necessary to establish a maximum level of co-financing from the Fund to the operational programmes to provide for a multiplier effect of Union resources, while ensuring flexibility by providing solutions for Member States facing temporary budget difficulties.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) Uniform and equitable rules on the eligibility period, operations and expenditures for the Fund should be applied across the Union. The conditions of eligibility should reflect the specific nature of the Fund’s objectives and target populations, notably through adequate conditions of eligibility of the operations as well as forms of support and rules and conditions of reimbursement.

(16) Uniform, equitable and simple rules on the eligibility period, operations and expenditures for the Fund should be applied across the Union. The conditions of eligibility should reflect the specific nature of the Fund’s objectives and target populations, notably through simple and adequate conditions of eligibility of the operations as well as forms of support and rules and conditions of reimbursement.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) [Proposal for a] Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation) provides that products bought under public intervention may be disposed of by making them available for the scheme for food distribution to the most deprived in the Union if that scheme so provides. Given that, depending on the circumstances, obtaining of food from the use, processing or sale of such stocks might be economically the most favourable option, it is appropriate to provide for such a possibility in this Regulation. The amounts derived from a transaction concerning the stocks should be used for the benefit of the most deprived, and should not be applied so as to diminish the obligation of the Member States to co-finance the programme. In order to ensure the most efficient possible use of the intervention stocks and the proceeds thereof, the Commission should in accordance with Article 19(e) of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO] adopt implementing acts establishing procedures by which the products in intervention stocks may be used, processed or sold for the purposes of the most deprived programme.

(17) [Proposal for a] Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation) provides that products bought under public intervention may be disposed of by making them available for the scheme for food distribution to the most deprived in the Union. Given that, depending on the circumstances, obtaining of food from the use, processing or sale of such stocks remains a favourable option, it is appropriate to provide for such a possibility in this Regulation. The amounts derived from a transaction concerning the stocks should be used for the benefit of the most deprived, as a complement to this fund, and should not be applied so as to diminish the obligation of the Member States to co-finance the programme. In order to ensure the most efficient possible use of the intervention stocks, the Commission should in accordance with Article 19(e) of Regulation (EU) No [CMO] adopt implementing acts establishing procedures by which the products in intervention stocks may be used, processed, sold at favourable prices and/or donated for the purposes of the most deprived programme.

 

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(17a) In order to ensure widespread support for the most deprived, Member States should take care to eliminate any potential obstacles in the way of companies’ donating food and other basic goods to food banks and not-for-profit organisations whose main activity is helping the most deprived.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(19) In accordance with the principle of shared management, Member States should have the primary responsibility, through their management and control system, for the implementation and control of their operational programme.

(19) In accordance with the principle of shared management, Member States should have the primary responsibility, through their management and control system, for the implementation and control of their operational programme, while constantly seeking to improve effectiveness and reduce bureaucracy.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21) Member States should designate a managing authority, a certifying authority and a functionally independent auditing authority for their operational programme. To provide flexibility for Member States in the set-up of control systems, it is appropriate to provide the option for the functions of the certifying authority to be carried out by the managing authority. The Member States should also be allowed to designate intermediate bodies to carry out certain tasks of the managing authority or the certifying authority. The Member States should in that case lay down clearly their respective responsibilities and functions.

(21) Member States should designate for their operational programme the authorities responsible for the sound management of the Fund. Member States should undertake adequate administrative and physical monitoring and provide for penalties in the event of irregularities in order to ensure that the operational programmes are implemented in accordance with the applicable rules.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 22

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(22) The managing authority bears the main responsibility for the effective and efficient implementation of the Fund and thus fulfils a substantial number of functions related to operational programme management and monitoring, financial management and controls as well as project selection. Its responsibilities and functions should be set out.

deleted

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(23) The certifying authority should draw up and submit to the Commission payment applications. It should draw up the annual accounts, certifying the completeness, accuracy and veracity of the annual accounts and that the expenditure entered in the accounts complies with applicable Union and national rules. Its responsibilities and functions should be set out.

deleted

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 24

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(24) The audit authority should ensure that audits are carried out on the management and control systems, on an appropriate sample of operations and on the annual accounts. Its responsibilities and functions should be set out.

deleted

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(25) Without prejudice to the Commission's powers as regards financial control, cooperation between the Member States and the Commission in the framework of this Regulation should be ensured and criteria should be established which allow the Commission to determine, in the context of its strategy of control of national systems, the level of assurance it should obtain from national audit bodies.

deleted

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 26

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(26) The powers and responsibilities of the Commission to verify the effective functioning of the management and control systems, and to require Member State action, should be laid down. The Commission should also have the power to carry out audits focused on issues relating to sound financial management in order to draw conclusions on the performance of the Fund.

deleted

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 27

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(27) Union budget commitments should be effected annually. In order to ensure effective programme management, it is necessary to lay down common rules for interim payment requests, the payment of the annual balance and the final balance.

(27) Union budget commitments should be effected annually. In order to ensure effective programme management, it is necessary to lay down simple common rules for interim payment requests, the payment of the annual balance and the final balance.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 35

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(35) The frequency of audits on operations should be proportionate to the extent of the Union's support from the Fund. In particular, the number of audits carried out should be reduced where the total eligible expenditure for an operation does not exceed EUR 100 000. Nevertheless, it should be possible to carry out audits at any time where there is evidence of an irregularity or fraud, or as part of an audit sample. In order that the level of auditing by the Commission is proportionate to the risk, the Commission should be able to reduce its audit work in relation to operational programmes where there are no significant deficiencies or where the audit authority can be relied on. In addition, the scope of audits should take fully into account the objective and the features of the target populations of the Fund.

(35) The frequency of audits on operations should be proportionate to the extent of the Union's support from the Fund. In particular, the number of audits carried out should be reduced where the total eligible expenditure for an operation does not exceed EUR 100 000. Nevertheless, it should be possible to carry out audits at any time where there is evidence of an irregularity or fraud, or as part of an audit sample. In order that the level of auditing by the Commission is proportionate to the risk, the Commission should be able to reduce its audit work in relation to operational programmes where there are no significant deficiencies or where the audit authority can be relied on. In addition, the scope of audits should take fully into account the objective and the features of the target populations of the Fund, as well as the voluntary character of the beneficiary bodies.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 41 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(41a) To avoid a sudden cut in food aid if the implementation of this Regulation were to be delayed at the beginning of 2014, the Commission should take the transitional measures necessary to ensure that persons dependent on food aid do not suffer food poverty.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. This Regulation establishes the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter ‘the Fund’) for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 and determines the objectives of the Fund, the scope of its support, the financial resources available and the criteria for their allocation and lays down the rules necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the Fund.

1. This Regulation establishes the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter ‘the Fund’) for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 and determines the objectives of the Fund, the scope of its support, the financial resources available and the criteria for their allocation and lays down the rules necessary to ensure the efficiency and straightforwardness of the Fund.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) 'most deprived persons' means physical persons, whether individuals, families, households or groups composed of such persons, whose need for assistance has been established according to the objective criteria adopted by the national competent authorities, or defined by the partner organisations and which are approved by those competent authorities;

(1) ‘most deprived persons’ means physical persons, whether individuals, families, households or groups composed of such persons, whose need for assistance has been established by the national, regional and local competent authorities in cooperation with the partner organisations;

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) 'partner organisations' means public bodies or non-for-profit organisations that deliver the food or goods directly or through other partner organisations to the most deprived persons, and whose operations have been selected by the managing authority in accordance with Article 29(3)(b);

(2) 'partner organisations' means public bodies or non-for-profit organisations that deliver the food and/or goods directly or through other partner organisations to the most deprived persons, and whose operations have been selected by the managing authority in accordance with Article 29(3)(b);

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) 'beneficiary' means a public or private body responsible for initiating or initiating and implementing operations;

(6) ‘beneficiary’ means a not-for-profit organisation or a public or private body, excluding commercial enterprises, responsible for initiating or initiating and implementing operations;

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7) 'end recipient' means the most deprived persons receiving the food or goods and/or benefiting from the accompanying measures;

(7) ‘end recipient’ means the most deprived persons receiving the food and/or goods and/or benefiting from the accompanying measures;

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) 'intermediate body' means any public or private body which acts under the responsibility of a managing or certifying authority, or which carries out duties on behalf of such an authority in relation to beneficiaries' implementing operations;

(9) ‘intermediate body’ means any not-for-profit organisation or any public or private body, excluding commercial enterprises, which acts under the responsibility of a managing or certifying authority, or which carries out duties on behalf of such an authority in relation to beneficiaries’ implementing operations;

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Fund shall promote social cohesion in the Union by contributing to achieving the poverty reduction target of at least 20 million of the number of persons at risk of poverty and social exclusion in accordance with the Europe 2020 strategy. The Fund shall contribute to achieving the specific objective of alleviating the worst forms of poverty in the Union by providing non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons. This objective shall be measured by the number of persons receiving assistance from the Fund.

The Fund shall promote social and territorial cohesion in the Union by contributing to achieving the poverty reduction target of at least 20 million of the number of persons at risk of poverty and social exclusion in accordance with the Europe 2020 strategy. The Fund shall contribute to achieving the specific objective of alleviating the worst forms of poverty in the Union by providing non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons and developing local and regional food supply chains for them. This objective shall be measured by the number of persons receiving assistance from the Fund.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Fund shall support national schemes whereby food products and basic consumer goods for the personal use of homeless persons or of children are distributed to the most deprived persons through partner organisations selected by Member States.

1. The Fund shall support national, regional and local schemes whereby high-quality food products and basic consumer goods for their personal use are distributed to the most deprived persons and basic consumer goods are distributed for the personal use of the most deprived persons. The distribution shall be carried out by partner organisations which are selected by Member States and whose work is concerned at least in part with the distribution of food products and/or agricultural products to the most deprived.

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) Support from the Fund shall be implemented in close cooperation between the Commission and the Member States.

(3) Support from the Fund shall be implemented by the Member States in close cooperation with the Commission.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5) Arrangements for the implementation and use of the Fund, and in particular the financial and administrative resources required in relation to reporting, evaluation, management and control shall take into account the principle of proportionality having regard to the level of support allocated.

(5) Arrangements for the implementation and use of the Fund, and in particular the financial and administrative resources required in relation to reporting, evaluation, management and control shall take into account the principle of proportionality having regard to the level of support allocated and to the specific nature of the objectives.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) The Commission and the Member States shall ensure the effectiveness of the Fund, in particular through monitoring, reporting and evaluation.

(8) The Commission and the Member States shall ensure the effectiveness of the Fund at the programming stage and at the subsequent monitoring, reporting and evaluation stages. They shall also ensure that implementation is simple for the partner organisations and the beneficiaries, and shall inform the public about the realisation and use of the Fund.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) The Commission and the Member States shall carry out their respective roles in relation to the Fund with the aim of reducing the administrative burden for beneficiaries.

(9) In view of the charitable nature of the aid to the most deprived persons and in many cases the involvement of volunteers in it, the Commission and the Member States shall carry out their respective roles in relation to the Fund with the constant aim of reducing the administrative burden for beneficiaries, establishing simple operating rules so as to simplify to the maximum the administrative systems with which partner organisations and/or beneficiaries are required to comply and thus affording them easy and rapid access to assistance.

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that equality between men and women and the integration of the gender perspective are promoted during the various stages of the implementation of the Fund. The Commission and the Member States shall take appropriate steps to prevent any discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation in obtaining access to the Fund.

(10) The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that equality between men and women and the integration of the gender perspective are promoted during the various stages of the implementation of the Fund. The Commission and the Member States shall take appropriate steps to prevent any discrimination based on sex, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation in obtaining access to the Fund and to the programmes or activities associated with it.

 

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12) Member States and beneficiaries shall choose the food products and the goods on the basis of objective criteria. The selection criteria for the food products, and where appropriate for goods, shall also take into consideration climatic and environmental aspects, in particular with a view to reduction of food waste.

(12) Member States and beneficiaries shall choose the food products and the goods on the basis of objective quality criteria. The selection criteria for the food products shall favour local products. The organisations or associations responsible for distributing the food shall, wherever possible, aim to provide a healthy and balanced diet for the end recipients and pursue public health and food security objectives. The selection criteria for the food products, and where appropriate for goods, shall also take into consideration climatic and environmental aspects, in particular with a view to reduction of food waste at every stage of the distribution chain.

 

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 12 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12a) Local and regional authorities, in partnership with non-governmental organisations, may organise local, regional and cross-border management networks to make use of perishable and non-perishable regional food products that are not marketed by food supply chains.

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) the population suffering from severe material deprivation;

(a) the population suffering from food poverty;

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3 – point a a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(aa) the population suffering from severe material deprivation;

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) the population living in households with very low work intensity.

(b) the population living in households with very low incomes or work intensity.

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3 – point b a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ba) the population living below the relative poverty threshold, i.e. the percentage of the population living in households with an income below 60% of the national median income.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Each Member State shall submit to the Commission one operational programme covering the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020 within three months of the entry into force of this Regulation, containing the following items:

Each Member State shall submit to the Commission one operational programme, prepared in close cooperation with the competent regional, local and other public authorities as well as bodies concerned with or responsible for representing civil society, combating poverty and promoting non-discrimination, covering the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020 within three months of the entry into force of this Regulation, containing the following items:

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) an identification of and a justification for selecting the type(s) of material deprivation to be addressed under the operational programme and a description for each type of material deprivation addressed of the main characteristics and the objectives of the distribution of food or goods and the accompanying measures to be provided, having regard to the results of the ex ante evaluation carried out in accordance with Article 14;

(a) an identification of the type(s) of food and/or material deprivation to be addressed under the operational programme and a description of the main characteristics and the objectives of the distribution of good-quality, healthy food or goods and the accompanying measures to be provided

 

Amendment  53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point a a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(aa) an action plan for the development of local and regional food supply chains for the benefit of the most deprived;

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point a b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ab) an action plan to reduce food waste;

Amendment  55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) a description of the corresponding national scheme(s) for each type of material deprivation addressed;

(b) a description of the corresponding national scheme(s) for each type of food and/or material deprivation addressed;

Amendment  56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point b a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ba) a description of the criteria for the selection of partner organisations, differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

Amendment  57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) a description of the mechanism setting the eligibility criteria for the most deprived persons, differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

(c) a description of the eligibility criteria for the most deprived persons, differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

Amendment  58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) the criteria for the selection of operations and a description of the selection mechanism differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

deleted

Amendment  59

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(e) the criteria for the selection of the partner organisations differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

deleted

Amendment  60

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point f

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(f) a description of the mechanism used to ensure complementarity with the European Social Fund;

deleted

Amendment  61

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point g

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(g) a description of the provisions for implementing the operational programme containing the identification of the managing authority, the certifying authority where applicable, the audit authority and the body to which payments are to be made by the Commission and a description of the monitoring procedure;

deleted

Amendment  62

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point h

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(h) a description of the measures taken to involve the competent regional, local and other public authorities as well as bodies representing civil society and bodies responsible for promoting equality and non-discrimination in the preparation of the operational programme;

(h) a description of the participation by the competent regional and local authorities, their representative organisations and other public authorities, as well as bodies representing civil society and bodies responsible for promoting equality and non-discrimination in the preparation of the operational programme;

Amendment  63

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point j – subpoint ii

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(ii) a table specifying, for the whole programming period, the amount of the total financial appropriation in respect of support from the operational programme for each type of material deprivation addressed as well as the corresponding accompanying measures.

(ii) a table specifying, for the whole programming period, the amount of the total financial appropriation in respect of support from the operational programme for each type of food and/or material deprivation addressed as well as the corresponding accompanying measures.

Amendment  64

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The partner organisations referred to in point (e) that deliver directly the food or goods shall themselves undertake activities complementing the provision of material assistance, aiming at the social inclusion of the most deprived persons, whether or not these activities are supported by the Fund.

The partner organisations referred to in point (ba) that deliver food directly and those that deliver the food and/or goods shall themselves undertake activities complementing the provision of material assistance, aiming at the social inclusion of the most deprived persons, whether or not these activities are supported by the Fund.

 

Amendment  65

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Operational programmes shall be drawn up by Member States or any authority designated by them in cooperation with the competent regional, local and other public authorities as well as bodies representing civil society and bodies responsible for promoting equality and non-discrimination.

2. Operational programmes shall be drawn up by Member States or any authority designated by them in cooperation with the competent regional and local authorities, their representative bodies and other public authorities as well as bodies representing civil society and bodies responsible for promoting equality and non-discrimination.

Amendment  66

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Member States shall draft their operational programmes in accordance with the template set out in Annex I.

deleted

Amendment  67

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall assess the consistency of the operational programme with this Regulation and its contribution to the objectives of the Fund, taking into account the ex ante evaluation carried out in accordance with Article 14.

1. The

Commission, taking into account the selection criteria adopted by the Member States, shall assess the consistency of the operational programme with this Regulation and its contribution to the objectives of the Fund.

Amendment  68

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission may make observations within three months of the date of submission of the operational programme. The Member State shall provide to the Commission all necessary additional information and, where appropriate, revise the proposed operational programme.

2. The Commission may make observations within two months of the date of submission of the operational programme. The Member State shall provide to the Commission all necessary additional information and, where appropriate, revise the proposed operational programme.

Amendment  69

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Provided that any observations made by the Commission in accordance with paragraph 2 have been satisfactorily taken into account, the Commission shall, by means of implementing acts, approve the operational programme no later than six months after its formal submission by the Member State, but not before 1 January 2014.

3. Provided that any observations made by the Commission in accordance with paragraph 2 have been satisfactorily taken into account, the Commission shall, by means of implementing acts, approve the operational programme no later than three months after its formal submission by the Member State, but not before 1 January 2014.

Amendment  70

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission shall assess the information provided in accordance with paragraph 1, taking account of the justification provided by the Member State. The Commission may make observations and the Member State shall provide to the Commission all necessary additional information.

2. The Commission shall assess the information provided in accordance with paragraph 1, taking account of the justification provided by the Member State. The Commission may, within a period of two months, make observations and the Member State shall provide to the Commission all necessary additional information.

Amendment  71

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Commission shall, by means of implementing acts, approve the amendment of an operational programme no later than five months after their formal submission by the Member State provided that any observations made by the Commission have been satisfactorily taken into account.

3. The Commission shall, by means of implementing acts, approve the amendment of an operational programme no later than three months after their formal submission by the Member State provided that any observations made by the Commission have been satisfactorily taken into account.

Amendment  72

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission shall set up a Union level platform to facilitate the exchange of experience, capacity building and networking, as well as dissemination of relevant outcomes in the area of non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons.

The Commission shall set up a Union level platform to facilitate the exchange of experience, know-how, capacity building, networking, the deployment of distribution networks throughout Europe, particularly in those areas within each Member State where levels of poverty and exclusion are highest, and the development of transnational and cross-border activities, as well as dissemination of relevant and innovative outcomes in the area of food and goods distribution to the most deprived persons. It shall integrate and link on the platform the organisations that represent the partner organisations at Union level, as well as the partner organisations and beneficiaries in each Member State. It shall set up and manage a public website specifically for the platform. The site will include a presentation of the various partner organisations, their activities and where they operate Europe-wide, including in the outermost regions. It will also present all documents and information relevant to the running of the platform and to its work.

Amendment  73

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In addition, the Commission shall consult, at least once a year, the organisations which represent the partner organisations at Union level on the implementation of support from the Fund.

In addition, the Commission shall consult, at least once a year, the organisations which represent the partner organisations at Union level and the main partner organisations in each Member State on the implementation, and ease of implementation, of support from the Fund. It shall publish reports on such consultation, and its results, on the platform website.

Amendment  74

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Member States shall draft the annual implementation report in accordance with the template adopted by the Commission, including the list of common input and outcome indicators.

deleted

Amendment  75

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The annual implementation reports shall be admissible where they contain all the information required in accordance with the template referred in paragraph 2, including the common indicators. The Commission shall inform the Member State concerned within 15 working days from the date of receipt of the annual implementation report if it is not admissible. Where the Commission has not sent that information within the time limit, the report shall be deemed admissible.

deleted

Amendment  76

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Member States shall draft the final implementation report in accordance with the template adopted by the Commission.

deleted

Amendment  77

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission shall examine the final implementation report and inform the Member State of its observations within five months of receipt of the final report.

The Commission shall examine the final implementation report and inform the Member State of its observations within three months of receipt of the final report.

Amendment  78

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. The Commission shall adopt the template for the annual implementation report, including the list of common indicators and for the final implementation report by means of implementing act. This implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 60(2).

6. The Commission shall adopt the template for the annual implementation report and for the final implementation report by means of implementing act. This implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 60(2).

Amendment  79

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7. The Commission may address observations to a Member State concerning the implementation of the operational programme. The managing authority shall within three months inform the Commission of the corrective measures taken.

7. The Commission may address observations to a Member State concerning the implementation of the operational programme.

Amendment  80

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

8. The managing authority shall make public a summary of the contents of each annual and final implementation report.

deleted

Amendment  81

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Member States shall provide the resources necessary for carrying out evaluations, and shall ensure that procedures are in place to produce and collect the data necessary for evaluations, including data related to the common indicators referred to in Article 11.

1. Member States shall provide the resources necessary for carrying out evaluations, and shall ensure that procedures are in place to produce and collect the data necessary for evaluations.

Amendment  82

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 15

deleted

Evaluation during the programming period

 

1. During the programming period, the managing authority may carry out evaluations for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of the operational programme.

 

2. The managing authority shall carry out a structured survey on end recipients in 2017 and 2021, in accordance with the template provided by the Commission. The Commission shall adopt the template by means of an implementing act. This implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 60(2).

 

3. The Commission may carry out, at its own initiative, evaluation of operational programmes.

 

Amendment  83

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

At its own initiative and in close cooperation with the Member States, the Commission shall carry out, with the assistance of external experts, an ex-post evaluation, to assess the effectiveness and sustainability of results obtained as well as to measure the added value of the Fund. This ex post evaluation shall be completed by 31 December 2023.

At its own initiative and in close cooperation with the Member States, the Commission shall carry out, with the assistance of external experts, an ex-post evaluation, to assess: the effectiveness and ease of management of the programmes in respect of barriers to their implementation, their stated aims and the results obtained; the needs reported by the partner organisations and beneficiaries in terms of financing the distribution of food products to the most deprived persons; and the added value of the Fund. This ex post evaluation shall be completed by 31 December 2023.

Amendment  84

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Member States shall provide information on and promote the actions supported by the Fund. The information shall be addressed to the most deprived persons, the media and the wider public. It shall highlight the role of the Union and ensure that the contribution from the Fund is visible.

1. The Commission and the Member States shall provide information on how the Fund is implemented and how money is used and promote the actions supported by the Fund, notably by making use of the platform and by establishing local and regional contact points. The information shall be addressed to the most deprived persons, the media and the wider public. It shall highlight the role of the Union, ensure that the contribution from the Fund is visible and give prominence to the beneficiary and partner organisations’ volunteers.

Amendment  85

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The managing authority shall, in order to ensure transparency in the support of the Fund, maintain a list of operations supported by the Fund in CSV or XML format which shall be accessible through a website. The list shall include at least information on the beneficiary name, its address and allocated amount of Union funding as well as the type of material deprivation addressed.

The competent authority shall, in order to ensure transparency in the support of the Fund, maintain a list of operations supported by the Fund in CSV or XML format which shall be accessible through a website.

Amendment  86

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The list of operations shall be updated at least every twelve months.

The list of operations shall be updated at least every six months.

Amendment  87

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

During the implementation of an operation, the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall inform the public about the support obtained from the Fund by placing at least one poster with information about the operation (minimum size A3), including about the financial support from the Union, at a location readily visible to the public, at each place of provision of the food, goods and any accompanying measure, except if this is not possible due to the circumstances of the distribution.

During the implementation of an operation, the beneficiary and partner organisations shall display either an EU flag or a poster (minimum size A3) with information about the operation, including about the financial support from the Union.

Amendment  88

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. All information and communication measures undertaken by the beneficiary and the partner organisations shall acknowledge support from the Fund to the operation by displaying the emblem of the Union together with a reference to the Union and the Fund.

4. Information and communication measures undertaken by the beneficiary and the partner organisations in connection with any operation financed by the European Union shall acknowledge support from the Fund to the operation by displaying the emblem of the Union together with a reference to the Union and the Fund.

Amendment  89

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. The managing authority shall inform beneficiaries of publication of the list of operations in accordance with paragraph 2. The managing authority shall provide information and publicity kits, including templates in electronic format, to help beneficiaries and partner organisations to meet their obligations as set out in paragraph 3.

5. The competent authority shall inform beneficiaries of publication of the list of operations in accordance with paragraph 2. The managing authority shall provide information and publicity kits, including templates in electronic format and stickers representing the EU flag, to help beneficiaries and partner organisations to meet their obligations as set out in paragraph 3.

Amendment  90

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. In processing personal data pursuant to this Article, the managing authority as well as the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall comply with Directive 95/46/EC.

6. In processing personal data pursuant to this Article, the competent authority as well as the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall abide by all confidential data protection rules and comply with Directive 95/46/EC.

Amendment  91

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The co-financing rate at the level of the operational programme shall not be higher than 85% of the public eligible expenditure.

1. The co-financing rate at the level of the operational programme shall not exceed:

 

(a) 85% of the total expenditure;

 

(b) 95% of the total expenditure in the case of support in Member States eligible for support under the Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) or the Cohesion Funds (CSF).

 

Amendment  92

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Expenditure shall be eligible for a support from the operational programme if it is incurred and paid by a beneficiary between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2022.

1. Expenditure shall be eligible for a support from the operational programme if it is incurred and paid by a beneficiary between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2023.

Amendment  93

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Operations shall not be selected for support by the operational programme where they have been physically completed or fully implemented before the application for funding under the operational programme is submitted by the beneficiary to the managing authority, irrespective of whether all related payments have been made by the beneficiary.

2. Operations shall not be selected for support by the operational programme where they have been physically completed or fully implemented before the application for funding under the operational programme is submitted by the beneficiary to the competent authority, irrespective of whether all related payments have been made by the beneficiary.

Amendment  94

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The food and the goods for homeless persons or for children may be purchased by the partner organisations themselves.

The food and the goods for the most deprived persons may be purchased by the partner organisations themselves.

Amendment  95

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

They may also be purchased by a public body and made available free of charge to the partner organisations. In that case, the food may be obtained from the use, processing or sale of the products in intervention stocks made available in accordance with Article 15 of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO], provided that this is economically the most favourable option and does not unduly delay the delivery of the food products to the partner organisations. Any amount derived from a transaction concerning those stocks shall be used for the benefit of the most deprived persons, and shall not be applied so as to diminish the obligation of the Member States, provided in Article 18 of this Regulation, to co-finance the programme.

They may also be purchased by a public body and made available free of charge to the partner organisations. In that case, the food may be obtained from the use, processing or sale of the products in intervention stocks made available in accordance with Article 15 of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO], provided that this is economically the most favourable option and does not unduly delay the delivery of the food products to the partner organisations. Any amount derived from a transaction concerning those stocks shall be used for the benefit of the most deprived persons, and shall not be applied so as to diminish the obligation of the Member States, provided in Article 18 of this Regulation, to co-finance the programme as a complement to the budget of the Fund..

Amendment  96

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. That material assistance shall be distributed free of charge to the most deprived persons.

4. Where the final beneficiaries are charged a price, that price shall not exceed 10% of the market price.

Amendment  97

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) the costs of purchasing food and basic consumer goods for personal use of homeless persons or of children;

(a) the costs of purchasing food and basic consumer goods for the personal use of the final beneficiaries;

Amendment  98

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) where a public body purchases the food or basic consumer goods for personal use of homeless persons or of children and provide them to partner organisations, the costs of transporting of food or goods to the storage depots of the partner organisations at a flat rate of 1 % of the costs referred to in point (a);

(b) where a public body purchases the food or basic consumer goods for personal use of final beneficiaries and provides them to partner organisations, the costs of transporting of food or goods to the storage depots of the partner organisations at a flat rate of 1 % of the costs referred to in point (a);

Amendment  99

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) the costs of social inclusion activities undertaken and declared by the partner organisations delivering directly the material assistance to the most deprived persons at a flat rate of 5% of the costs referred to in point (a);

(d) the costs of social inclusion activities undertaken and declared by the partner organisations delivering the food and/or material assistance directly or indirectly to the final beneficiaries at a flat rate of 5% of the costs referred to in point (a);

Amendment  100

Proposal for a regulation

Article 26

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Management and control systems shall provide for:

deleted

(a) a description of the functions of each body concerned in management and control, and the allocation of functions within each body;

 

(b) compliance with the principle of separation of functions between and within such bodies;

 

(c) procedures for ensuring the correctness and regularity of expenditure declared;

 

(d) computerised systems for accounting, for the storage and transmission of financial data and data on indicators, for monitoring and for reporting;

 

(e) systems for reporting and monitoring where the responsible body entrusts execution of tasks to another body;

 

(f) arrangements for auditing the functioning of the management and control systems;

 

(g) systems and procedures to ensure an adequate audit trail;

 

(h) the prevention, detection and correction of irregularities, including fraud, and the recovery of amounts unduly paid, together with any interest;

 

Amendment  101

Proposal for a regulation

Article 26 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 26a

 

Member States shall carry out administrative and physical checks to ensure that operational programmes are implemented in compliance with the applicable rules and shall establish the penalties applicable in the event of irregularities.

Amendment  102

Proposal for a regulation

Article 27

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 27

deleted

Responsibilities of Member States

 

1. Member States shall fulfil the management, control and audit obligations and assume the resulting responsibilities laid down in the rules on shared management set out in the Financial Regulation and this Regulation. In accordance with the principle of shared management, Member States shall be responsible for the management and control of operational programmes.

 

2.

 

Member States shall prevent, detect and correct irregularities and shall recover amounts unduly paid, together with any interest on late payments. They shall notify these irregularities to the Commission and shall keep the Commission informed of the progress of related administrative and legal proceedings.

 

When amounts unduly paid to a beneficiary cannot be recovered and this is as a result of fault or negligence on the part of a Member State, the Member State shall be responsible for reimbursing the amounts concerned to the general budget of the Union.

 

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 59 laying down detailed rules concerning the obligations of the Member States specified in this paragraph.

 

3. Member States shall establish and implement a procedure for the independent examination and resolution of complaints concerning the selection or implementation of operations co-financed by the Fund. Member States shall report the results of such examinations to the Commission upon request.

 

4. All official exchanges of information between the Member State and the Commission shall be carried out using an electronic data exchange system established in compliance with the terms and conditions laid down by the Commission by means of implementing acts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 60(3).

 

Amendment  103

Proposal for a regulation

Article 28

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 28

deleted

Designation and organisation of management and control bodies

 

1. The Member State shall designate a national public authority or body as managing authority.

 

2. The Member State shall designate a national public authority or body as a certifying authority, without prejudice to paragraph 3.

 

3. The Member State may designate a managing authority which carries out in addition the functions of the certifying authority.

 

4. The Member State shall designate a national public authority or body, functionally independent from the managing authority and the certifying authority, as audit authority.

 

5. Provided that the principle of separation of functions is respected, the managing authority, the certifying authority, where applicable, and the audit authority may be part of the same public authority or body.

 

6. The Member State may designate one or more intermediate bodies to carry out certain tasks of the managing or the certifying authority under the responsibility of that authority. The relevant arrangements between the managing authority or certifying authority and the intermediate bodies shall be formally recorded in writing.

 

7. The Member State or the managing authority may entrust the management of part of the operational programme to an intermediate body by way of an agreement in writing between the intermediate body and the Member State or managing authority. The intermediate body shall provide guarantees of its solvency and competence in the domain concerned, as well as its administrative and financial management.

 

8. The Member State shall lay down in writing rules governing its relations with the managing authority, certifying authority and audit authority, the relations between such authorities, and the relations of such authorities with the Commission.

 

Amendment  104

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

[...]

deleted

Amendment  105

Proposal for a regulation

Article 30

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

[...]

deleted

Amendment  106

Proposal for a regulation

Article 31

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

[...]

deleted

Amendment  107

Proposal for a regulation

Article 32

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 32

deleted

Procedure for designation of the managing and the certifying authorities

 

1. Member states shall notify to the Commission the date and form of the designation of the managing authority and, where appropriate the certifying authority, within six months of the adoption of decision adopting the operational programme.

 

2. The designation referred to in paragraph 1 shall be based on a report and an opinion of an independent audit body that assesses the management and control system, including the role of intermediate bodies therein, and its compliance with Articles 26, 27, 29 and 30, in accordance with criteria on internal environment, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring established by the Commission by means of delegated act in accordance with Article 59.

 

3. The independent body shall carry out its work in accordance with internationally accepted audit standards.

 

4. Member States may decide that a managing authority or a certifying authority which has been designated in relation to an ESF co-financed operational programme pursuant to Regulation (EU) No [CPR] is deemed to be designated for the purposes of this Regulation.

 

The Commission may request, within two months of receipt of the notification referred to in paragraph 1, the report and the opinion of the independent audit body and the description of the management and control system.

 

The Commission may make observations within two months of receipt of those documents.

 

5. The Member State shall supervise the designated body and withdraw its designation by formal decision if one or more of the criteria referred to in paragraph 2 are no longer met, unless the body takes the necessary remedial actions within a period of probation to be determined by the Member State according to the severity of the problem. The Member State shall notify the Commission immediately of the setting of any probation period for a designated body and of any withdrawal decision.

 

Amendment  108

Proposal for a regulation

Article 33

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

[...]

deleted

Amendment  109

Proposal for a regulation

Article 34

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 34

deleted

Cooperation with audit authority

 

1. The Commission shall cooperate with audit authorities to coordinate their audit plans and methods and shall immediately exchange the results of audits carried out on management and control systems.

 

2. The Commission and the audit authority shall meet on a regular basis and at least once a year, unless otherwise agreed, to examine the annual control report, the opinion and the audit strategy, and to exchange views on issues relating to improvement of the management and control systems.

 

Amendment  110

Proposal for a regulation

Article 37 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall reimburse as interim payments 90% of the amount resulting from applying the co-financing rate laid down in the decision adopting the operational programme corresponding to the public eligible expenditure included in the payment application. It shall determine the annual balance in accordance with Article 47(2).

1. The Commission shall reimburse as interim payments 100% of the amount resulting from applying the co-financing rate laid down in the decision adopting the operational programme corresponding to the public eligible expenditure included in the payment application. It shall determine the annual balance in accordance with Article 47(2).

Amendment  111

Proposal for a regulation

Article 39 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Managing authority shall ensure that, in the case of grants to partner organisations, beneficiaries are provided with a flow sufficient to ensure proper implementation of the operations.

1. The competent authority shall ensure that, in the case of grants to partner organisations, beneficiaries are provided with a flow sufficient to ensure proper implementation of the operations.

Amendment  112

Proposal for a regulation

Article 42 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The certifying authority shall submit on a regular basis an application for interim payment covering amounts entered in its accounts as public support paid to beneficiaries in the accounting year ending 30 June.

1. The competent authority shall submit on a regular basis an application for interim payment covering amounts entered in its accounts as public support paid to beneficiaries in the accounting year ending 30 June.

Amendment  113

Proposal for a regulation

Article 42 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The certifying authority shall submit the final application for interim payment by 31 July following the end of the previous accounting year and, in any event, before the first application for interim payment for the next accounting year.

2. The competent authority shall submit the final application for interim payment by 31 July following the end of the previous accounting year and, in any event, before the first application for interim payment for the next accounting year.

Amendment  114

Proposal for a regulation

Article 42 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The first application for interim payment shall not be made before the notification to the Commission of the designation of the managing authority and the certifying authority in accordance to Article 32(1).

3. The first application for interim payment shall not be made before the notification to the Commission of the designation of the competent authorities.

Amendment  115

Proposal for a regulation

Article 43

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 43

deleted

Interruption of the time limit payment

 

1. The time limit for the payment of an interim payment claim may be interrupted by the authorising officer by delegation within the meaning of the Financial Regulation for a maximum period of nine months when the following conditions are met:

 

(a) on the basis of the information provided by a national or Union audit body, there is evidence to suggest a significant deficiency in the functioning of the management and control system;

 

(b) the authorising officer by delegation has to carry out additional verifications following information coming to his attention alerting him that expenditure in a request for payment is linked to an irregularity having serious financial consequences;

 

(c) there is a failure to submit one of the documents required under Article 45(1).

 

2. The authorising officer by delegation may limit the interruption to the part of the expenditure covered by the payment claim affected by the elements referred to in paragraph 1. The authorising officer by delegation shall inform the Member State and the managing authority immediately of the reason for interruption and shall ask them to remedy the situation. The interruption shall be ended by the authorising officer by delegation as soon as the necessary measures have been taken.

 

Amendment  116

Proposal for a regulation

Article 44

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 44

deleted

Suspension of payments

 

1. All or part of the interim payments may be suspended by the Commission where:

 

(a) there is a serious deficiency in the management and control system of the operational programme for which corrective measures have not been taken;

 

(b) expenditure in a statement of expenditure is linked to an irregularity having serious financial consequences which has not been corrected;

 

(c) the Member State has failed to take the necessary action to remedy the situation giving rise to an interruption under Article 43;

 

(d) there is a serious deficiency in the quality and reliability of the monitoring system or of the data on indicators.

 

2. The Commission may decide, by means of implementing acts, to suspend all or part of interim payments, after having given the Member State the opportunity to present its observations.

 

3. The Commission shall end suspension of all or part of interim payments where the Member State has taken the necessary measures to enable the suspension to be lifted.

 

Amendment  117

Proposal for a regulation

Article 46 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) the total amount of eligible expenditure entered into the accounts of the certifying authority as having been incurred and paid by beneficiaries in implementing operations, the total amount of public eligible expenditure incurred in implementing operations and the corresponding eligible public contribution which has been paid to beneficiaries;

(a) the total amount of eligible expenditure entered into the accounts of the competent authority as having been incurred and paid by beneficiaries in implementing operations, the total amount of public eligible expenditure incurred in implementing operations and the corresponding eligible public contribution which has been paid to beneficiaries;

Amendment  118

Proposal for a regulation

Article 46 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The certifying authority may specify in the accounts a provision, which shall not exceed 5 % of the total expenditure in payment applications presented for a given accounting year, where the assessment of the legality and regularity of the expenditure is subject to an on-going procedure with the audit authority. The amount covered shall be excluded from the total amount of eligible expenditure referred to in paragraph 1(a). These amounts shall be definitively included in, or excluded from, the annual accounts of the following year.

2. The competent authority may specify in the accounts a provision, which shall not exceed 5 % of the total expenditure in payment applications presented for a given accounting year, where the assessment of the legality and regularity of the expenditure is subject to an on-going procedure with the audit authority. The amount covered shall be excluded from the total amount of eligible expenditure referred to in paragraph 1(a). These amounts shall be definitively included in, or excluded from, the annual accounts of the following year.

Amendment  119

Proposal for a regulation

Article 48

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 48

deleted

Availability of documents

 

1. The managing authority shall ensure that all supporting documents on operations are made available to the Commission and the European Court of Auditors upon request for a period of three years. This three year period shall run from 31 December of the year of the decision on acceptance of accounts by the Commission pursuant to Article 47 or, at the latest, from the date of payment of the final balance.

 

This three year period shall be interrupted either in the case of legal or administrative proceedings or by a duly justified request of the Commission.

 

2. The documents shall be kept either in the form of the originals, or certified true copies of the originals, or on commonly accepted data carriers including electronic versions of original documents or documents existing in electronic version only.

 

3. The documents shall be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed.

 

4. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 59 to set out which data carriers can be considered as commonly accepted.

 

5. The procedure for certification of conformity of documents held on commonly accepted data carriers with the original document shall be laid down by the national authorities and shall ensure that the versions held comply with national legal requirements and can be relied on for audit purposes.

 

6. Where documents exist in electronic version only, the computer systems used must meet accepted security standards that ensure that the documents held comply with national legal requirements and can be relied on for audit purposes.

 

Amendment  120

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Member State shall make the financial corrections required in connection with individual or systemic irregularities detected in operations or the operational programme. Financial corrections shall consist of cancelling all or part of the public contribution to an operation or the operational programme. The Member State shall take into account the nature and gravity of the irregularities and the financial loss to the Fund and shall apply a proportionate correction. Financial corrections shall be recorded in the annual accounts by the managing authority for the accounting year in which the cancellation is decided

deleted

Amendment  121

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The contribution from the Fund cancelled in accordance with paragraph 2 may be reused by the Member State within the operational programme concerned, subject to paragraph 4.

deleted

Amendment  122

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The contribution cancelled in accordance with paragraph 2 may not be reused for any operation that was the subject of the correction or, where a financial correction is made for a systemic irregularity, for any operation affected by the systemic irregularity.

deleted

Amendment  123

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. A financial correction by the Commission shall not prejudice the Member State's obligation to pursue recoveries under the present Article.

deleted

Amendment  124

Proposal for a regulation

Article 51

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 51

deleted

Financial corrections by the Commission

 

1. The Commission shall make financial corrections, by means of implementing act, by cancelling all or part of the Union contribution to an operational programme and effecting recovery from the Member State in order to exclude from Union financing expenditure which is in breach of applicable Union and national law, including in relation to deficiencies in the management and control systems of Member States which have been detected by the Commission or the European Court of Auditors.

 

2. A breach of applicable Union or national law shall lead to a financial correction only when one of the following conditions is met:

 

(a) the breach has or could have affected the selection of an operation by the managing authority for support by the Fund;

 

(b) the breach has or could have affected the amount of expenditure declared for reimbursement by the Union budget.

 

Amendment  125

Proposal for a regulation

Article 52

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

[...]

deleted

Amendment  126

Proposal for a regulation

Article 53

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 53

deleted

Procedure for financial corrections by the Commission

 

1. Before taking a decision on a financial correction, the Commission shall launch the procedure by informing the Member State of the provisional conclusions of its examination and requesting the Member State to submit its comments within two months.

 

2. Where the Commission proposes a financial correction on the basis of extrapolation or a flat rate, the Member State shall be given the opportunity to demonstrate, through an examination of the documentation concerned, that the actual extent of irregularity is less than the Commission's assessment. In agreement with the Commission, the Member State may limit the scope of this examination to an appropriate proportion or sample of the documentation concerned. Except in duly justified cases, the time allowed for this examination shall not exceed a further period of two months after the two-month period referred to in paragraph 1.

 

3. The Commission shall take account of any evidence supplied by the Member State within the time limits set out in paragraphs 1 and 2.

 

4. Where the Member State does not accept the provisional conclusions of the Commission, the Member State shall be invited to a hearing by the Commission, in order to ensure that all relevant information and observations are available as a basis for conclusions by the Commission on the application of the financial correction.

 

5. In order to apply financial corrections the Commission shall take a decision, by means of implementing acts, within six months of the date of the hearing, or of the date of receipt of additional information where the Member State agrees to submit such additional information following the hearing. The Commission shall take account of all information and observations submitted during the course of the procedure. If no hearing takes place, the six month period shall begin to run two months after the date of the letter of invitation to the hearing sent by the Commission.

 

6. Where irregularities affecting annual accounts sent to the Commission are detected by the Commission or by the European Court of Auditors, the resulting financial correction shall reduce support from the Fund to the operational programme.

 

Amendment  127

Proposal for a regulation

Article 54

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 54

deleted

Repayments to the Union Budget - Recoveries

 

1. Any repayment due to be made to the general budget of the Union shall be effected before the due date indicated in the order for recovery drawn up in accordance with Article 77 of the Financial Regulation. The due date shall be the last day of the second month following the issuing of the order.

 

2. Any delay in effecting repayment shall give rise to interest on account of late payment, starting on the due date and ending on the date of actual payment. The rate of such interest shall be one-and-a-half percentage points above the rate applied by the European Central Bank in its main refinancing operations on the first working day of the month in which the due date falls.

 

Amendment  128

Proposal for a regulation

Article 55

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

[...]

deleted

Amendment  129

Proposal for a regulation

Article 56

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 56

deleted

Rules on decommitment

 

1. The Commission shall decommit any part of the amount calculated in accordance with the second subparagraph in an operational programme that has not been used for payment of the pre-financing, interim payments and annual balance by 31 December of the second financial year following the year of budget commitment under the operational programme or for which a payment application drawn up in accordance with Article 38 has not been sent in accordance with Article 42.

 

For the purposes of the decommitment, the Commission shall calculate the amount by adding one sixth of the annual budget commitment related to the 2014 total annual contribution to each of the 2015 to 2020 budget commitments.

 

2. By way of derogation from the first subparagraph of paragraph 1, the deadlines for decommitment shall not apply to the annual budget commitment related to the 2014 total annual contribution.

 

3. If the first annual budget commitment is related to the 2015 total annual contribution, by way of derogation from paragraph 1, the deadlines for decommitment shall not apply to the annual budget commitment related to the total annual contribution of 2015. In such cases, the Commission shall calculate the amount under the first sub-paragraph of paragraph 1 by adding one fifth of the annual budget commitment related to the 2015 total amount contribution to each of the 2016 to 2020 budget commitments.

 

4. That part of commitments still open on 31 December 2022 shall be decommitted if any of the documents required under Article 47(2) has not been submitted to the Commission by 30 September 2023.

 

Amendment  130

Proposal for a regulation

Article 57

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 57

deleted

Exception to the decommitment

 

1. The amount concerned by decommitment shall be reduced by the amounts that the responsible body has not been able to declare to the Commission because of:

 

(a) operations suspended by a legal proceeding or by an administrative appeal having suspensory effect; or

 

(b) reasons of force majeure seriously affecting implementation of all or part of the operational programme. The national authorities claiming force majeure shall demonstrate the direct consequences of the force majeure on the implementation of all or part of the operational programme;

 

(c) (ww) The reduction may be requested once if the suspension or force majeure lasted up to one year, or several times corresponding to the duration of the force majeure or the number of years between the date of the legal or administrative decision suspending the implementation of the operation and the date of the final legal or administrative decision.

 

2. By 31 January, the Member State shall send to the Commission information on the exceptions referred to in paragraph 1 for the amount to be declared by the end of the preceding year.

 

Amendment  131

Proposal for a regulation

Article 58

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 58

deleted

Procedure for decommitments

 

1. The Commission shall inform the Member State and the managing authority in good time whenever there is a risk of application of decommitment under Article 56.

 

2. On the basis of the information it has on 31 January, the Commission shall inform the Member State and the managing authority of the amount of the decommitment resulting from the information in its possession.

 

3. The Member State shall have two months to agree to the amount to be decommitted or to submit its observations.

 

4. By 30 June, the Member State shall submit to the Commission a revised financing plan reflecting for the financial year concerned the reduced amount of support of the operational programme. Failing such submission, the Commission shall revise the financing plan by reducing the contribution from the Fund for the financial year concerned.

 

5. The Commission shall amend the decision adopting the operational programme, by means of implementing act, no later than 30 September.

 

Amendment  132

Proposal for a regulation

Article 59 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The delegated acts shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of 2 months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by 2 months at the initiative of the European Parliament or the Council.

The delegated acts shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of 4 months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by 2 months at the initiative of the European Parliament or the Council.

Amendment  133

Proposal for a regulation

Article 60 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 60a

 

Transitional rules

 

The Commission shall take the necessary financial and regulatory measures, if need be through budgetary redeployment, early pre-financing or prolongation of Regulation (EC) No 121/2012, in order to ensure the continuity of the MDP from 2013 to 2014 in the event of delays in the implementation of this regulation.

Amendment  134

Proposal for a regulation

Annex 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

[...]

deleted

PROCEDURE

Title

Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

References

COM(2012)0617 – C7-0358/2012 – 2012/0295(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

EMPL

19.11.2012

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

REGI

19.11.2012

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Younous Omarjee

27.11.2012

Discussed in committee

23.1.2013

19.2.2013

 

 

Date adopted

19.3.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

28

5

9

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Luís Paulo Alves, Catherine Bearder, Jean-Jacob Bicep, Alain Cadec, Salvatore Caronna, Nikos Chrysogelos, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Danuta Maria Hübner, María Irigoyen Pérez, Seán Kelly, Mojca Kleva Kekuš, Constanze Angela Krehl, Petru Constantin Luhan, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Riikka Manner, Iosif Matula, Erminia Mazzoni, Miroslav Mikolášik, Jens Nilsson, Wojciech Michał Olejniczak, Younous Omarjee, Markus Pieper, Monika Smolková, Nuno Teixeira, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Justina Vitkauskaite, Oldřich Vlasák, Hermann Winkler, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă, Karima Delli, Cornelia Ernst, Ivars Godmanis, Karin Kadenbach, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Ivari Padar, Mirosław Piotrowski, Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid, Patrice Tirolien, Derek Vaughan, Iuliu Winkler


OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (28.3.2013)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

(COM(2012)0617 – C7-0358/2012 – 2012/0295(COD))

Rapporteur: Marc Tarabella

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

I. Summary of the Commission proposal

In its Europe 2020 strategy, the EU set itself the objective of reducing by at least 20 million the number of people in or at risk of poverty or social exclusion by 2020. In 2010, nearly one quarter of Europeans (116 million) were indeed at risk of poverty or social exclusion. As the Commission rightly points out, this situation is getting worse by the day, affecting all EU countries, increasingly large numbers of people and new social categories such as poor workers or low-income pensioners. Some of these people, namely 43 million of them, suffer from severe material deprivation and find it impossible to meet their most basic survival needs, since they do not have access to sufficient, quality food. In addition, the most vulnerable of them are too far removed from the labour market to benefit from the social inclusion measures of the ESF.

The Commission is proposing a Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), to replace the Food Distribution programme for the Most Deprived People (MDP), which some Member States called into question on the grounds that this problem was a social issue which was purely a matter for the Member States. This new Fund, which should operate in accordance with the rules governing the Structural Funds, is targeted at food deprivation, homelessness and the material deprivation of children. It would finance the purchase of food products and basic consumer goods for personal use, in addition to accompanying measures aiming at social inclusion. The Fund will be linked to EU economic, social and territorial cohesion policies and will be funded solely by the ESF.

II. Critical review of the Commission proposal

1) The resources are tragically insufficient

a) For the period 2014 - 2020, the Commission has proposed EUR 2.5 billion in budgetary resources. This means reducing aid by EUR 1 billion compared to what is currently being done for food aid alone in the 20 Member States participating in the MDP programme. The negotiations under way between the heads of state and government have even reduced those resources to EUR 2.1 billion. It is worth noting that the current MDP programme had made provision for EUR 3.5 billion in the previous multiannual period. At a time when the situation is worsening, it is particularly shocking that the budget for the most deprived people is being reduced. Many citizens do not understand this, which is strengthening anti-EU feelings.

b) Limited as it is to certain sections of the population, the proposal even runs counter to the objective of the Europe 2020 strategy. The criteria used for allocating the funding cover only two of the four indicators used in Europe 2020 in relation to poverty and social exclusion, namely people suffering from severe material deprivation and people living in households with very low work intensity. These two criteria omit an entire population, be it people who are already excluded or those who are living in poverty and are at high risk of exclusion. Article 4, in fact, refers mainly to homeless persons and children.

c) Over and beyond food distribution, part of the Fund may be used for the purchase of basic consumer goods for homeless persons or children (clothes). The Fund can also support social inclusion activities.

Your rapporteur takes the view that given the insufficient resources allocated to feeding the most deprived people, it would be advisable not to dissipate too many resources on items other than food. In his view, the necessary social inclusion is already being addressed, as in their next national programmes the Member States will be required to devote 20% of ESF resources to it.

2) The implementing arrangements for the Fund are extremely rigid and complex

Most of the regulatory proposals relating to the Fund are based on the rules of the current Structural Funds and are full of excessive red tape. The management arrangements described are not in keeping with the objective of the Fund, which requires flexibility and the ability to adapt to situations of emergency. In addition, the Member States have to advance the funds required for the implementation of the actions, which could cause difficulties for many of them.

Your rapporteur believes that such burdensome implementing arrangements could result in inefficiency and in the ironic situation whereby the resources exist but are not used.

3) 2014 will be a difficult year of transition

Given the complexity of implementing the Fund, it is highly likely that it will only become operational in autumn 2014. It will therefore be too late to meet the fundamental needs of the most deprived people for 2014.

III. The rapporteur’s proposals

Concerning the budget and principles:

•   Funding should be kept at the current level of EUR 3.5 billion over 7 years.

•   People who meet the four indicators used by the EU in its Europe 2020 strategy should be considered eligible for aid.

•   Priority should be given to food, which meets the vital needs of the most deprived whilst giving each Member State the choice of delivering aid according to who needs it the most.

•   To improve efficiency, EU action should take a comprehensive and consistent approach to the fight against poverty and exclusion – an approach which encompasses people's needs. Accordingly, it is vital to mobilise all EU policies and all available resources: ESF, EAFRD, ERDF, etc.

•   The products in intervention stocks will continue to be able to be used for distribution among the most deprived people. However, your rapporteur would stress that the value of these stocks should not be deducted from the resources allocated to the Fund.

•   Food donations should also be encouraged.

Concerning the 2014 transition year:

•   A transitional solution should be proposed. Based on the model of the MDP programme, EU financial appropriations, from different funds, could be made available to each Member State so that they can start their programmes.

IV. Possible contributions from the CAP to supplement the Fund – Rapporteur's proposals

a) Facilitating food donations whilst reducing food waste

Your rapporteur believes it is essential to combat food wastage, which is a real problem in Europe. The Commission and the European Parliament (through its resolution of 19 January 20121 – Caronna report) have estimated that the amount of food wasted throughout the distribution chain is currently around 190 kg per year per European.

To that end, your rapporteur proposes:

•   giving consumers information regarding certain health-related wording, based on EU rules, which appears on agricultural and food products, such as 'use-by date' and 'best before date', since these words cause great confusion among consumers and are the reason for a great deal of waste;

•   revising EU rules on marketing standards for agricultural products (especially in the fruit and vegetable sector) in order to encourage the supply of ungraded fruit and vegetables;

•   authorising the right of establishment and right to operate a business for large-scale retailers on the express condition that they donate their unsold food.

b) Mobilising EAFRD resources

There are certain measures under two of the rural development reform priorities that can help better to feed the most deprived people.

- Priority 3: Promoting food chain organisation, with short supply circuits in particular. By reducing the number of middlemen and creating social links, these short supply circuits enable farmers to sell their products honestly at an affordable price for consumers. Furthermore, investments could be made in platforms for logistics and for the processing and canning of unsold products.

- Priority 6: promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development.

c) Making the most of the next reform of the CMO in fruit and vegetables

The populations targeted by the Fund should be able to eat balanced meals of good nutritional quality. Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a meal. Under the current rules these products may be distributed free of charge to charities, foundations managed by the Member States or public bodies (hospitals, schools, hospices, etc.). The Fund's partner organisations should receive more of these fruit and vegetables.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) In line with the conclusions of the European Council of 17 June 2010, whereby the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth was adopted, the Union and the Member States have set themselves the objective of having at least 20 million fewer people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020.

(1) The provision of foodstuffs and agricultural products and assistance for the most deprived persons is an imperative, and whereas in line with the conclusions of the European Council of 17 June 2010, whereby the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth was adopted, the Union and the Member States have set themselves the objective of having at least 20 million fewer people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) The number of persons suffering from material or even severe material deprivation in the Union is increasing and those persons are often too excluded to benefit from the activation measures of Regulation (EU) No […CPR], and, in particular of Regulation (EU) No […ESF].

(2) The number of persons suffering from food and material or even severe food and material deprivation in the Union is increasing and those persons are often too excluded to benefit from the activation measures of Regulation (EU) No […CPR], and, in particular of Regulation (EU) No […ESF].

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2a) In 2010, nearly one quarter of all the people living in the EU (119.6 million) were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, i.e. nearly 4 million more than in 2009. Of those 119.6 million, 18 million were dependent almost every day on food parcels or meals distributed by charitable associations.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter the 'Fund') should strengthen social cohesion by contributing to the reduction of poverty in the Union by supporting national schemes that provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons to alleviate food deprivation, homelessness and material deprivation of children.

(4) The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter the ‘Fund’) should strengthen social cohesion by contributing to the reduction of poverty in the Union by supporting, primarily through the provision of food supplies, national schemes that provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons to alleviate food and material deprivation, particularly among the homeless and children.

Justification

The symbolic amount offered in this Fund should focus primarily on emergency food provision. However the Fund should in no way be seen by Member States as an opportunity for them to reduce the budgets of their national poverty eradication and social reintegration programmes, which remain a Member State responsibility.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4a) The Fund cannot replace public policies undertaken by Member State governments to limit the need for emergency food aid and to develop sustainable targets and policies for the full eradication of hunger, poverty and social exclusion.

Justification

Member States must continue to develop long-term, sustainable projects to eradicate poverty, deprivation and social exclusion. This responsibility can in no way be replaced or reduced by using resources from the European Fund.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) Those provisions also ensure that the operations supported shall comply with applicable Union and national laws, notably in regard to the safety of the goods that are distributed to the most deprived persons.

(6) Those provisions also ensure that the operations supported shall comply with applicable Union and national laws, notably in regard to the safety of the goods and the quality of the food products that are distributed to the most deprived persons.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6a) The provisions should also ensure that the Fund complies with the social and environmental policies of the Union, such as the fight against food waste.

Justification

Food wastage is a major European scandal which the EU has decided to combat. All the stakeholders of the Fund should integrate tools and mechanisms to help combat food wastage.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7) In order to set out an appropriate financial framework, the Commission should establish, by means of implementing acts, an annual breakdown of global resources by Member State using an objective and transparent method reflecting disparities in terms of poverty and material deprivation.

(7) In order to set out an appropriate financial framework, the Commission should establish, by means of implementing acts, an annual breakdown of global resources by Member State using an objective and transparent method reflecting disparities in terms of poverty and material deprivation, such as the relative poverty threshold, and taking account of the number of people classifiable in each Member State as ‘most deprived’.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) The operational programme of each Member State should identify and justify the forms of material deprivation to be addressed, and describe the objectives and features of the assistance to the most deprived persons that will be provided through the support of national schemes. It should also include elements necessary to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the operational programme.

(8) The operational programme of each Member State should identify and justify the forms of material deprivation to be addressed, and describe the objectives and features of the assistance to the most deprived persons that will be provided through the support of national schemes. The first deprivation to be addressed by the Member States should be that concerning access to food. The programme should also include elements necessary to ensure its effective and efficient implementation.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12) In order to improve the quality and design of each operational programme and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Fund, ex ante and ex post evaluations should be conducted. Those evaluations should be supplemented by surveys on the most deprived persons who have benefited from the operational programme and, if necessary, by evaluations during the programming period. The responsibilities of Member States and the Commission in this respect should be specified.

(12) In order to improve the quality and design of each operational programme and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Fund, evaluations should be conducted.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) Citizens have the right to know how the Union’s financial resources are invested and to what effects. For the purpose of ensuring wide dissemination of information about the achievements of the Fund and to ensure accessibility and transparency of funding opportunities, detailed rules about information and communication, especially in relation to the responsibilities of the Member States and the beneficiaries, should be set out.

(13) Citizens have the right to know how the Union’s financial resources are invested and to what effects. For the purpose of ensuring wide dissemination of information about the achievements of the Fund and to ensure accessibility and transparency of funding opportunities, detailed rules about information and communication, especially in relation to the responsibilities of the Member States and the beneficiaries, should be set out in such a way that the dignity of the end recipients is not undermined.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) It is necessary to establish a maximum level of co-financing from the Fund to the operational programmes to provide for a multiplier effect of Union resources, while the situation of Member States facing temporary budget difficulties should be addressed.

(15) The minimum level of financing from the Fund to the operational programmes should be 85%. Furthermore, it is appropriate to address the situation of Member States facing temporary budget difficulties in order to ensure the highest possible uptake of the Fund.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) Uniform and equitable rules on the eligibility period, operations and expenditures for the Fund should be applied across the Union. The conditions of eligibility should reflect the specific nature of the Fund’s objectives and target populations, notably through adequate conditions of eligibility of the operations as well as forms of support and rules and conditions of reimbursement.

(16) Uniform, equitable and simple rules on the eligibility period, operations and expenditures for the Fund should be applied across the Union. The conditions of eligibility should reflect the specific nature of the Fund’s objectives and target populations, notably through simple and adequate conditions of eligibility of the operations as well as forms of support and rules and conditions of reimbursement.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(16a) Much of the work undertaken by associations working with the provision of food to Europe's most deprived is undertaken by volunteers. Therefore, the process for applying to be a beneficiary of the Fund must not be prohibitively complicated.

Justification

Although it is essential that European funds are proportionately controlled in order to ensure that they are correctly used, it is also essential that those in need are able to access the available funding. Therefore the application process to participate in the Fund must not be prohibitively complicated.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) [Proposal for a] Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation) provides that products bought under public intervention may be disposed of by making them available for the scheme for food distribution to the most deprived in the Union if that scheme so provides. Given that, depending on the circumstances, obtaining of food from the use, processing or sale of such stocks might be economically the most favourable option, it is appropriate to provide for such a possibility in this Regulation. The amounts derived from a transaction concerning the stocks should be used for the benefit of the most deprived, and should not be applied so as to diminish the obligation of the Member States to co-finance the programme. In order to ensure the most efficient possible use of the intervention stocks and the proceeds thereof, the Commission should in accordance with Article 19(e) of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO] adopt implementing acts establishing procedures by which the products in intervention stocks may be used, processed or sold for the purposes of the most deprived programme.

(17) [Proposal for a] Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation) provides that products bought under public intervention may be disposed of by making them available for the scheme for food distribution to the most deprived in the Union if that scheme so provides. Given that, depending on the circumstances, obtaining of food from the use, processing or sale of such stocks might be economically the most favourable option, it is appropriate to provide for such a possibility in this Regulation. The amounts derived from a transaction concerning the stocks should be used for the benefit of the most deprived to complement the resources of the Fund without the costs of that use being deducted from the relevant financial appropriations. In order to ensure the most efficient possible use of the intervention stocks and the proceeds thereof, the Commission should in accordance with Article 19(e) of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO] adopt implementing acts establishing procedures by which the products in intervention stocks may be used, processed or sold for the purposes of the most deprived programme.

Justification

Intervention stocks, where they exist, should be added to, and not deducted from, the resources allocated, in order to ensure predictability for the partner organisations as to the financial appropriations granted.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(17a) However, the use of intervention stocks and food that would otherwise be wasted does not preclude the need for good supply management and wise management of the food chain which avoids systematic structural surpluses and which matches European production with demand.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(17b) In order to ensure broad support within society for the most deprived persons and to tackle food waste, Member States should remove obstacles to the donation of food or basic consumer goods by firms to food banks, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(19) In accordance with the principle of shared management, Member States should have the primary responsibility, through their management and control system, for the implementation and control of their operational programme.

(19) In accordance with the principle of shared management, Member States should have the primary responsibility, through their management and control system, for the implementation and control of their operational programme, while seeking at all times to improve effectiveness and reduce bureaucracy.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21) Member States should designate a managing authority, a certifying authority and a functionally independent auditing authority for their operational programme. To provide flexibility for Member States in the set-up of control systems, it is appropriate to provide the option for the functions of the certifying authority to be carried out by the managing authority. The Member States should also be allowed to designate intermediate bodies to carry out certain tasks of the managing authority or the certifying authority. The Member States should in that case lay down clearly their respective responsibilities and functions.

(21) Member States should designate for their operational programme the authorities responsible for the sound management of the Fund. Member States should carry out appropriate administrative and physical checks and provide for penalties in the case of irregularities in order to ensure that the operational programmes are implemented in accordance with the applicable rules.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 22

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(22) The managing authority bears the main responsibility for the effective and efficient implementation of the Fund and thus fulfils a substantial number of functions related to operational programme management and monitoring, financial management and controls as well as project selection. Its responsibilities and functions should be set out.

deleted

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(23) The certifying authority should draw up and submit to the Commission payment applications. It should draw up the annual accounts, certifying the completeness, accuracy and veracity of the annual accounts and that the expenditure entered in the accounts complies with applicable Union and national rules. Its responsibilities and functions should be set out.

deleted

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 24

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(24) The audit authority should ensure that audits are carried out on the management and control systems, on an appropriate sample of operations and on the annual accounts. Its responsibilities and functions should be set out.

deleted

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(25) Without prejudice to the Commission's powers as regards financial control, cooperation between the Member States and the Commission in the framework of this Regulation should be ensured and criteria should be established which allow the Commission to determine, in the context of its strategy of control of national systems, the level of assurance it should obtain from national audit bodies.

deleted

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 26

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(26) The powers and responsibilities of the Commission to verify the effective functioning of the management and control systems, and to require Member State action, should be laid down. The Commission should also have the power to carry out audits focused on issues relating to sound financial management in order to draw conclusions on the performance of the Fund.

deleted

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 27

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(27) Union budget commitments should be effected annually. In order to ensure effective programme management, it is necessary to lay down common rules for interim payment requests, the payment of the annual balance and the final balance.

(27) Union budget commitments should be effected annually. In order to ensure effective programme management, it is necessary to lay down simple common rules for interim payment requests, the payment of the annual balance and the final balance.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 32

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(32) In order to ensure that expenditure financed by the Union budget in any given financial year is used in accordance with the applicable rules, an appropriate framework should be created for the annual examination and acceptance of accounts. Under this framework, the designated bodies should submit to the Commission, in respect of the operational programme, a management declaration accompanied by the certified annual accounts, an annual summary of the final audit reports and of controls carried out and an independent audit opinion and control report.

(32) In order to ensure that expenditure financed by the Union budget in any given financial year is used in accordance with the applicable rules, an appropriate and simple framework should be created for the annual examination and acceptance of accounts. Under this framework, the designated bodies should submit to the Commission, in respect of the operational programme, a management declaration accompanied by the certified annual accounts, an annual summary of the final audit reports and of controls carried out and an independent audit opinion and control report.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 35

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(35) The frequency of audits on operations should be proportionate to the extent of the Union's support from the Fund. In particular, the number of audits carried out should be reduced where the total eligible expenditure for an operation does not exceed EUR 100 000. Nevertheless, it should be possible to carry out audits at any time where there is evidence of an irregularity or fraud, or as part of an audit sample. In order that the level of auditing by the Commission is proportionate to the risk, the Commission should be able to reduce its audit work in relation to operational programmes where there are no significant deficiencies or where the audit authority can be relied on. In addition, the scope of audits should take fully into account the objective and the features of the target populations of the Fund.

(35) The frequency of audits on operations should be proportionate to the extent of the Union's support from the Fund. In particular, the number of audits carried out should be reduced where the total eligible expenditure for an operation does not exceed EUR 100 000. Nevertheless, it should be possible to carry out audits at any time where there is evidence of an irregularity or fraud, or as part of an audit sample. In order that the level of auditing by the Commission is proportionate to the risk, the Commission should be able to reduce its audit work in relation to operational programmes where there are no significant deficiencies or where the audit authority can be relied on. In addition, the scope of audits should take fully into account the objective and the features of the target populations of the Fund, as well as the voluntary nature of the beneficiary bodies.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 41

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(41) This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, including respect for human dignity and for private and family life, the right to the protection of personal data, the rights of the child, the rights of the elderly, equality between men and women, and the prohibition of discrimination. This Regulation must be applied according to these rights and principles.

(41) This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, including respect for human dignity and for private and family life, the right to the protection of personal data, the rights of the child, the right to social assistance and housing, the rights of the elderly, equality between men and women, and the prohibition of discrimination. This Regulation must be applied according to these rights and principles.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 41 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(41a) In order to ensure that delays in the implementation of this Regulation at the beginning of 2014 do not lead to a sudden drop-off in food aid, the Commission should take the transitional measures necessary to guarantee that persons dependent on food aid are not at risk of food poverty.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. This Regulation establishes the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter ‘the Fund’) for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 and determines the objectives of the Fund, the scope of its support, the financial resources available and the criteria for their allocation and lays down the rules necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the Fund.

This Regulation establishes the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (hereinafter ‘the Fund’) for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 and determines the objectives of the Fund, the scope of its support, the financial resources available and the criteria for their allocation and lays down the rules necessary to ensure that the Fund is effective and easy to implement.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) 'most deprived persons' means physical persons, whether individuals, families, households or groups composed of such persons, whose need for assistance has been established according to the objective criteria adopted by the national competent authorities, or defined by the partner organisations and which are approved by those competent authorities;

(1) 'most deprived persons' means physical persons, whether individuals, families, households or groups composed of such persons, whose need for assistance has been established according to the objective criteria defined by the national competent authorities in cooperation with the partner organisations, in particular national, regional or local organisations which are already working to hand out food to the most deprived, or which are providing assistance to homeless persons and people affected by poverty or social exclusion;

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) 'partner organisations' means public bodies or non-for-profit organisations that deliver the food or goods directly or through other partner organisations to the most deprived persons, and whose operations have been selected by the managing authority in accordance with Article 29(3)(b);

(2) 'partner organisations' means public bodies or non-for-profit organisations that deliver the food and goods directly or through other partner organisations to the most deprived persons, and whose operations have been selected by the managing authority in accordance with Article 29(3)(b);

Justification

People’s most basic need is for food. Addressing this need enables partner organisations and Member States to make contact with people on the margins of society. This is the best way to ensure that the Fund is effective.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) 'beneficiary' means a public or private body responsible for initiating or initiating and implementing operations;

(6) ‘beneficiary’ means a not-for-profit organisation or a public or private body, excluding commercial enterprises, responsible for initiating or initiating and implementing operations;

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7) 'end recipient' means the most deprived persons receiving the food or goods and/or benefiting from the accompanying measures;

(7) 'end recipient' means the most deprived persons receiving the food or goods and benefiting from possible accompanying measures;

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) 'intermediate body' means any public or private body which acts under the responsibility of a managing or certifying authority, or which carries out duties on behalf of such an authority in relation to beneficiaries' implementing operations;

(9) ‘intermediate body’ means any not-for-profit organisation or any public or private body, excluding commercial enterprises, which acts under the responsibility of a managing or certifying authority, or which carries out duties on behalf of such an authority in relation to beneficiaries’ implementing operations;

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Fund shall promote social cohesion in the Union by contributing to achieving the poverty reduction target of at least 20 million of the number of persons at risk of poverty and social exclusion in accordance with the Europe 2020 strategy. The Fund shall contribute to achieving the specific objective of alleviating the worst forms of poverty in the Union by providing non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons. This objective shall be measured by the number of persons receiving assistance from the Fund.

The Fund shall promote social and territorial cohesion in the Union by contributing to achieving the poverty reduction target of at least 20 million of the number of persons at risk of poverty and social exclusion in accordance with the Europe 2020 strategy. The Fund shall contribute to achieving the specific objective of alleviating the worst forms of poverty in the Union, first and foremost food insecurity, by providing non-financial assistance to the most deprived persons and through local and regional food supply chains that benefit the most deprived persons, by supplying them with nutritious, healthy and high-quality food, in particular fresh and seasonal products. This objective shall be measured by the number of persons receiving assistance from the Fund and the use of local and regional food supply networks.

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The Fund shall be used to complement national strategies, not to replace or scale down national long-term and sustainable poverty eradication and social inclusion programmes, which remain the responsibility of Member States.

Justification

Member States must continue to develop long-term, sustainable projects to eradicate poverty, deprivation and social exclusion. The Fund should therefore under no circumstances take the place of national projects.

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Fund shall support national schemes whereby food products and basic consumer goods for the personal use of homeless persons or of children are distributed to the most deprived persons through partner organisations selected by Member States.

1. The Fund shall support national schemes whereby healthy food products, as a first priority, and basic consumer goods for personal use are distributed to the most deprived persons through partner organisations selected by Member States.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) In accordance with their respective responsibilities, the Commission and the Member States shall ensure coordination with the European Social Fund, and with other Union policies and instruments.

(6) In accordance with their respective responsibilities, the Commission and the Member States shall ensure coordination with the European Social Fund, and with other Union policies and instruments, such as the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development in a manner consistent with priorities three (promoting food chain organisation) and six (promoting social inclusion and poverty reduction) of Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No XXX/XXXX of the European Parliament and of the Council on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

Justification

In order to improve efficiency, EU action should take a comprehensive and consistent approach to the fight against poverty and exclusion – an approach which encompasses people's needs. Accordingly, it is vital to mobilise all EU policies and all available resources, including the EAFRD.

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) The Commission and the Member States shall ensure the effectiveness of the Fund, in particular through monitoring, reporting and evaluation.

(8) The Commission and the Member States shall ensure the effectiveness of the Fund, in particular through monitoring, reporting and evaluation. They shall also inform the public about what has been achieved as a result of the Fund and how available appropriations are being used.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) The Commission and the Member States shall carry out their respective roles in relation to the Fund with the aim of reducing the administrative burden for beneficiaries.

(9) The Commission and the Member States shall take action to guarantee the effectiveness of the Fund, in particular through monitoring, reporting and evaluation. They shall also ensure that the Fund is easy for the partner organisations and beneficiaries to implement.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that equality between men and women and the integration of the gender perspective are promoted during the various stages of the implementation of the Fund. The Commission and the Member States shall take appropriate steps to prevent any discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation in obtaining access to the Fund.

(10) The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that equality between men and women and the integration of the gender perspective are promoted during the various stages of the implementation of the Fund. The Commission and the Member States shall take appropriate steps to prevent any discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, place of residence, age or sexual orientation in obtaining access to the Fund.

Justification

It is important to ensure that place of residence, especially in remote rural areas, does not hinder people from accessing the Fund.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11) Operations financed by the Fund shall comply with applicable Union and national law. In particular, the Fund may only be used to support distribution of food or goods that are in conformity with the Union legislation on consumer product safety.

(11) Operations financed by the Fund shall comply with applicable Union and national law. In particular, the Fund may only be used to support distribution of food or goods that are in conformity with the Union legislation on consumer product safety. In order to prevent waste and to encourage the donation of food products which have not been sold or consumed because their expiry dates have passed, the Commission should make the definitions of use-by date and best-before date contained in EU rules clearer for distributors and consumers, so that foods which can still safely be eaten are not thrown away.

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 11 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11a) Operations financed by the Fund may also include the processing of certain highly perishable agricultural products for the purpose of conserving them for longer periods so that they can be distributed to the most deprived persons, thereby also preventing waste. This provision shall apply to agricultural products which have not been harvested by producers or agricultural products which have not been sold by distributors. It may also apply to fruit or vegetables which have been withdrawn from the market by producer groups, using their operational funds, and which, under current law, may be made available to charitable bodies or foundations approved by the Member States.

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12) Member States and beneficiaries shall choose the food products and the goods on the basis of objective criteria. The selection criteria for the food products, and where appropriate for goods, shall also take into consideration climatic and environmental aspects, in particular with a view to reduction of food waste.

(12) Member States and beneficiaries shall choose the food products and the goods on the basis of objective and fair criteria which ensure that priority is given to the provision of basic foods and goods. Priority shall be given, under the selection criteria for the food products, to products of European origin. The selection criteria for the food products shall be set with a view to helping the end recipients achieve a healthy and balanced diet. The selection criteria for the food products, and where appropriate for goods, shall also take into consideration climatic and environmental aspects, in particular with a view to reduction of food waste.

Justification

The provision of basic foods and goods should supersede other priorities, in order to ensure that the almost 43 million Europeans who do not have enough food or the right types of food can at least see their basic needs met.

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 12 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12a) The Commission, the Member States and the partner organisations shall contribute to the fight against food waste at every stage of the food supply chain, in particular through measures to recover food that is still perfectly edible but can no longer be sold. In addition, the education of recipients must also contribute to avoiding food waste.

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 12 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12b) The Commission shall ensure that the rules on VAT are interpreted uniformly throughout the Union, in such a way that the donation of foodstuffs to the partner organisations does not serve to penalise potential donors.

Justification

VAT is a tax paid by consumers. If a distribution firm decides to make a donation to the partner organisations that hand out food and goods to the most deprived persons, that firm will have paid VAT which it cannot then recover by selling the product on. This gives rise to problems in Member States, particularly as regards the interpretation of EU law on VAT. The Commission should clarify the situation for Member States in order to promote the uniform application of the law and thereby encourage food donations.

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The global resources available for budgetary commitment from the Fund for the period 2014-2020 shall be EUR 2 500 000 000 at 2011 prices, in accordance with the annual breakdown set out in Annex II.

1. The global resources available for budgetary commitment from the Fund for the period 2014-2020 shall be EUR 3 500 000 000 at 2011 prices, in accordance with the annual breakdown set out in Annex II.

Justification

The budget proposed by the Commission would mean a EUR 1 billion cut in funding for food aid alone for the 20 Member States participating in the MDP programme. At the very least, the budget earmarked for the MDP programme, i.e. 3.5 billion over seven years, should be maintained.

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. The level of resources available may be revised on the Commission's initiative in order to take account of the impact of economic changes on living standards.

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Commission shall adopt a decision, by means of implementing acts, setting out the annual breakdown of the global resources by Member State, in accordance with Article 84(5) of Regulation (EU) No… (CPR), without prejudice to paragraph 4 of this Article, taking into account the following indicators established by Eurostat:

3. The Commission shall adopt a decision, by means of implementing acts, setting out

the annual breakdown of the global resources by Member State, in accordance with Article 84(5) of Regulation (EU) No… (CPR), without prejudice to paragraph 4 of this Article, taking into account the following indicators established by Eurostat:

 

(-a) the population suffering from food poverty;

(a) the population suffering from severe material deprivation;

(a) the population suffering from severe material deprivation;

(b) the population living in households with very low work intensity.

(b) the population living in households with very low work intensity;

 

(ba) the relative poverty threshold, i.e. the percentage of the population living in a household which does not have an income of at least 60% of the national median income.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Each Member State shall submit to the Commission one operational programme covering the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020 within three months of the entry into force of this Regulation, containing the following items:

Member States without existing national programmes that choose to implement the Fund shall submit to the Commission one operational programme covering the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020 within three months of the entry into force of this Regulation, containing the following items:

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) an identification of and a justification for selecting the type(s) of material deprivation to be addressed under the operational programme and a description for each type of material deprivation addressed of the main characteristics and the objectives of the distribution of food or goods and the accompanying measures to be provided, having regard to the results of the ex ante evaluation carried out in accordance with Article 14;

(a) an identification of the type(s) of material deprivation to be addressed under the operational programme and a description for each type of material deprivation addressed of the main characteristics and the objectives of the distribution of food or goods and any accompanying measures to be provided;

Justification

The provision of basic foods and goods should supersede other priorities, in order to ensure that the almost 43 million Europeans who do not have enough food or the right types of food can at least see their basic needs met.

Amendment  53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point b a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ba) the partner organisations and competent authorities;

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) a description of the mechanism setting the eligibility criteria for the most deprived persons, differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

deleted

Amendment  55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) the criteria for the selection of operations and a description of the selection mechanism differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

deleted

Amendment  56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(e) the criteria for the selection of the partner organisations differentiated if necessary by type of material deprivation addressed;

deleted

Amendment  57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point f

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(f) a description of the mechanism used to ensure complementarity with the European Social Fund;

deleted

Amendment  58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point j – subpoint i

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(i) a table specifying for each year in accordance with Article 18 the amount of the financial appropriation envisaged for support from the Fund and the co-financing in accordance with Article 18;

(i) a table specifying for each year in accordance with Article 18 the amount of the financial appropriation envisaged for support from the Fund;

Amendment  59

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The partner organisations referred to in point (e) that deliver directly the food or goods shall themselves undertake activities complementing the provision of material assistance, aiming at the social inclusion of the most deprived persons, whether or not these activities are supported by the Fund.

deleted

Amendment  60

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Member States shall draft their operational programmes in accordance with the template set out in Annex I.

deleted

Amendment  61

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall assess the consistency of the operational programme with this Regulation and its contribution to the objectives of the Fund, taking into account the ex ante evaluation carried out in accordance with Article 14.

1. The Commission shall assess the consistency of the operational programme with this Regulation and its contribution to the objectives of the Fund.

Amendment  62

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Commission shall, by means of implementing acts, approve the amendment of an operational programme no later than five months after their formal submission by the Member State provided that any observations made by the Commission have been satisfactorily taken into account.

3. The Commission shall, by means of implementing acts, approve the amendment of an operational programme no later than three months after their formal submission by the Member State provided that any observations made by the Commission have been satisfactorily taken into account.

Amendment  63

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Implementation reports and indicators

Implementation reports

Amendment  64

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Member States shall draft the annual implementation report in accordance with the template adopted by the Commission, including the list of common input and outcome indicators.

deleted

Amendment  65

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The annual implementation reports shall be admissible where they contain all the information required in accordance with the template referred in paragraph 2, including the common indicators. The Commission shall inform the Member State concerned within 15 working days from the date of receipt of the annual implementation report if it is not admissible. Where the Commission has not sent that information within the time limit, the report shall be deemed admissible.

deleted

Amendment  66

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Member States shall draft the final implementation report in accordance with the template adopted by the Commission.

deleted

Amendment  67

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. The Commission shall adopt the template for the annual implementation report, including the list of common indicators and for the final implementation report by means of an implementing act. This implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 60(2).

6. The Commission shall adopt the template for the annual implementation report and for the final implementation report by means of an implementing act. This implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 60(2).

Amendment  68

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7. The Commission may address observations to a Member State concerning the implementation of the operational programme. The managing authority shall within three months inform the Commission of the corrective measures taken.

7. The Commission may address observations to a Member State concerning the implementation of the operational programme.

Amendment  69

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

8. The managing authority shall make public a summary of the contents of each annual and final implementation report.

deleted

Amendment  70

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission and each Member State shall meet every year from 2014 to 2022, unless otherwise agreed, to examine the progress in implementing the operational programme, taking account of the annual implementation report and the Commission's observations referred to in Article 11(7), where applicable.

1. The Commission and each Member State shall meet to examine the progress in implementing the operational programme, in the event that such meetings are necessary.

Amendment  71

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The bilateral review meeting shall be chaired by the Commission.

deleted

Amendment  72

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Member State shall ensure that appropriate follow-up is given to any comments of the Commission following the meeting.

deleted

Amendment  73

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Member States shall provide the resources necessary for carrying out evaluations, and shall ensure that procedures are in place to produce and collect the data necessary for evaluations, including data related to the common indicators referred to in Article 11.

1. Member States shall provide the resources necessary for carrying out evaluations, and shall ensure that procedures are in place to produce and collect the data necessary for evaluations.

Amendment  74

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. During the programming period, the managing authority may carry out evaluations for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of the operational programme.

1. During the programming period, the competent authority may carry out evaluations for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of the operational programme.

Amendment  75

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The managing authority shall carry out a structured survey on end recipients in 2017 and 2021, in accordance with the template provided by the Commission. The Commission shall adopt the template by means of an implementing act. This implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 60(2).

deleted

Amendment  76

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Commission may carry out, at its own initiative, evaluation of operational programmes.

3. The Commission may carry out, at its own initiative, evaluation of operational programmes where it has evidence suggesting any irregularity in their implementation.

Amendment  77

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

At its own initiative and in close cooperation with the Member States, the Commission shall carry out, with the assistance of external experts, an ex-post evaluation, to assess the effectiveness and sustainability of results obtained as well as to measure the added value of the Fund. This ex post evaluation shall be completed by 31 December 2023.

At its own initiative and in close cooperation with the Member States, the Commission shall carry out, with the assistance of external experts, an ex-post evaluation, to assess the ease of management of the programmes, the effectiveness and sustainability of results obtained and the needs indicated by the partner organisations, as well as to measure the added value of the Fund. This ex post evaluation shall be completed by 31 December 2023.

Amendment  78

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Member States shall provide information on and promote the actions supported by the Fund. The information shall be addressed to the most deprived persons, the media and the wider public. It shall highlight the role of the Union and ensure that the contribution from the Fund is visible.

1. The Commission and the Member States shall provide information on and promote the actions supported by the Fund. The information shall be addressed to the most deprived persons, the media and the wider public. It shall highlight the role of the Union and ensure that the contribution from the Fund, the partner organisations and their volunteers is visible.

Amendment  79

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The managing authority shall, in order to ensure transparency in the support of the Fund, maintain a list of operations supported by the Fund in CSV or XML format which shall be accessible through a website. The list shall include at least information on the beneficiary name, its address and allocated amount of Union funding as well as the type of material deprivation addressed.

The competent authority shall, in order to ensure transparency in the support of the Fund, maintain a list of operations supported by the Fund in CSV or XML format which shall be accessible through a website. For each operation supported, the list shall include at least information on the number of beneficiaries and the allocated amount of Union funding as well as the type of material deprivation addressed.

Amendment  80

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

During the implementation of an operation, the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall inform the public about the support obtained from the Fund by placing at least one poster with information about the operation (minimum size A3), including about the financial support from the Union, at a location readily visible to the public, at each place of provision of the food, goods and any accompanying measure, except if this is not possible due to the circumstances of the distribution.

During the implementation of an operation, the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall inform the public about the support obtained from the Fund by placing either at least one poster with information about the operation (minimum size A3), including about the financial support from the Union, at a location readily visible to the public, at each place of provision of the food, goods and any accompanying measure, or a European flag, except if this is not possible due to the circumstances of the distribution.

Amendment  81

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Those beneficiaries and partner organisations which have websites shall also provide a short description of the operation, including its aims and results, and highlighting the financial support from the Union.

Beneficiaries and partner organisations shall also be obliged to offer the public access to all information on the activities carried out, with the exception of information on the identity of the final recipients, highlighting the financial support from the Union.

Amendment  82

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. The managing authority shall inform beneficiaries of publication of the list of operations in accordance with paragraph 2. The managing authority shall provide information and publicity kits, including templates in electronic format, to help beneficiaries and partner organisations to meet their obligations as set out in paragraph 3.

5. The competent authority shall inform beneficiaries of publication of the list of operations in accordance with paragraph 2. The managing authority shall provide information and publicity kits, including templates in electronic format, to help beneficiaries and partner organisations to meet their obligations as set out in paragraph 3.

Amendment  83

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. In processing personal data pursuant to this Article, the managing authority as well as the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall comply with Directive 95/46/EC.

6. In processing personal data pursuant to this Article, the competent authority as well as the beneficiaries and partner organisations shall abide by all confidential data protection rules and comply with Directive 95/46/EC.

Amendment  84

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 18

Article 18

Co-financing

Financing

Amendment  85

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The co-financing rate at the level of the operational programme shall not be higher than 85% of the public eligible expenditure.

1. The financing rate of the operational programme shall be at least 85% of the public eligible expenditure, and it can go up to 100%.

 

The Fund shall be used to complement national strategies, not to replace Member States' authorities' responsibilities, for eradicating poverty and social exclusion, notably through the provision of long-term, sustainable programmes aiming at social reintegration rather than alleviating immediate food deprivation and material needs.

Amendment  86

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission decision adopting an operational programme shall fix the co-financing rate applicable to the operational programme and the maximum amount of support from the Fund.

2. The Commission decision adopting an operational programme shall fix the financing rate applicable to the operational programme and the maximum amount of support from the Fund.

Amendment  87

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The technical assistance measures implemented at the initiative of, or on behalf of, the Commission may be financed at the rate of 100%.

deleted

Amendment  88

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a. The distribution of food to the most deprived people in rural areas may be financed at the rate of 100%.

Justification

It is very often in rural areas that people are living below the poverty line. Allowing 100% financing is likely to make it easier for local authorities to reach as many potential recipients of the Fund as possible.

Amendment  89

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 1 – introductory phrase

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. At the request of a Member State, interim payments and payments of the final balance may be increased by 10 percentage points above the co-financing rate applicable to the operational programme. The increased rate, which can not exceed 100%, shall apply to requests for payment relating to the accounting period in which the Member State has submitted its request and subsequent accounting periods during which the Member State meets one of the following conditions:

1. Member States facing temporary budget difficulties may, on request, benefit from a financing rate of 100%. The increased rate, which can not exceed 100%, shall apply to requests for payment relating to the accounting period in which the Member State has submitted its request and subsequent accounting periods during which the Member State meets one of the following conditions:

Amendment  90

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Operations shall not be selected for support by the operational programme where they have been physically completed or fully implemented before the application for funding under the operational programme is submitted by the beneficiary to the managing authority, irrespective of whether all related payments have been made by the beneficiary.

2. Operations shall not be selected for support by the operational programme where they have been physically completed or fully implemented before the application for funding under the operational programme is submitted by the beneficiary to the competent authority, irrespective of whether all related payments have been made by the beneficiary.

Amendment  91

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The food and the goods for homeless persons or for children may be purchased by the partner organisations themselves.

The food and the goods for the end recipients may be purchased by the partner organisations themselves.

Justification

The Fund is targeted at the most deprived people, who are a broader category of people needing aid. Article 2(1) and( 7) and Articles 3 and 21(4), amongst others, refer explicitly to the most deprived persons; this amendment thus seeks to make this regulation more consistent.

Amendment  92

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

They may also be purchased by a public body and made available free of charge to the partner organisations. In that case, the food may be obtained from the use, processing or sale of the products in intervention stocks made available in accordance with Article 15 of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO], provided that this is economically the most favourable option and does not unduly delay the delivery of the food products to the partner organisations. Any amount derived from a transaction concerning those stocks shall be used for the benefit of the most deprived persons, and shall not be applied so as to diminish the obligation of the Member States, provided in Article 18 of this Regulation, to co-finance the programme.

They may also be purchased by a public body and made available free of charge to the partner organisations. In that case, the food may be obtained from the use, processing or sale of the products in intervention stocks made available in accordance with Article 15 of the Regulation (EU) No [CMO], provided that this is economically the most favourable option and does not unduly delay the delivery of the food products to the partner organisations. Any amount derived from a transaction concerning those stocks shall be used for the benefit of the most deprived persons to complement the resources of the Fund without the costs of that use being deducted from the relevant financial appropriations.

Justification

Intervention stocks, where they exist, should be added to, and not deducted from, the resources allocated, in order to ensure predictability for the partner organisations as to the financial appropriations granted.

Amendment  93

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a. Material assistance may be provided in the form of vouchers exclusively intended for food purchases.

Amendment  94

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. That material assistance shall be distributed free of charge to the most deprived persons.

4. That material assistance shall be distributed free of charge to the most deprived persons, or sold at a price no greater than 10% of the market price and not exceeding the distribution costs borne by the designated organisations.

Amendment  95

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

a) the costs of purchasing food and basic consumer goods for personal use of homeless persons or of children;

a) the costs of purchasing food meeting quality and food safety requirements and basic consumer goods for personal use of end recipients;

Justification

The Fund is targeted at the most deprived people, who are a broader category of people needing aid. Article 2(1) and( 7) and Articles 3 and 21(4), amongst others, refer explicitly to the most deprived persons; this amendment thus seeks to make this regulation more consistent.

Amendment  96

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) where a public body purchases the food or basic consumer goods for personal use of homeless persons or of children and provide them to partner organisations, the costs of transporting of food or goods to the storage depots of the partner organisations at a flat rate of 1 % of the costs referred to in point (a);

(b) where a public body purchases the food or basic consumer goods for personal use of end recipients and provides them to partner organisations, the costs of transporting of food or goods to the storage depots of the partner organisations at a flat rate of 1 % of the costs referred to in point (a);

Justification

The Fund is targeted at the most deprived people, who are a broader category of people needing aid. Article 2(1) and( 7) and Articles 3 and 21(4), amongst others, refer explicitly to the most deprived persons; this amendment thus seeks to make this regulation more consistent.

Amendment  97

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

ca) the costs of products which, without having consistently and recognisably proved to be economically the most favourable option, were comparable in terms of value for money (and durability, where applicable) to the products or goods available;

Amendment  98

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) the costs of social inclusion activities undertaken and declared by the partner organisations delivering directly the material assistance to the most deprived persons at a flat rate of 5% of the costs referred to in point (a);

deleted

Amendment  99

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1 – point e a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ea) value added tax.

Justification

Many potential donors are discouraged from providing food and other goods to people in need because they are concerned about having to pay VAT. This is particularly the case for small businesses and associations. VAT should therefore be a fully eligible cost.

Amendment  100

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 2 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) value added tax. However, VAT amounts shall be eligible where they are not recoverable under national VAT legislation and are paid by a beneficiary other than a non-taxable person as defined in the first subparagraph of Article 13(1) of Council Directive 2006/112/EC.

deleted

Justification

A consequence of the amendment in paragraph 1.

Amendment  101

Proposal for a regulation

Article 25 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 25a

 

1. Member States shall carry out administrative and physical checks to ensure that operational programmes are implemented in compliance with the applicable rules and shall establish the penalties applicable in the event of irregularities.

 

2. Member States shall fulfil the management, control and audit obligations and assume the resulting responsibilities laid down in the rules on shared management set out in the Financial Regulation and this Regulation.

 

3. Member States shall prevent, detect and correct irregularities and shall recover amounts unduly paid, together with any interest on late payments.

 

4. Member States shall establish and implement a procedure for the independent examination and resolution of complaints concerning the selection or implementation of operations cofinanced by the Fund.

Amendment  102

Proposal for a regulation

Article 26

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 26

deleted

General principles of Member State management and control systems

 

Management and control systems shall provide for:

 

(a) a description of the functions of each body concerned in management and control, and the allocation of functions within each body;

 

(b) compliance with the principle of separation of functions between and within such bodies;

 

(c) procedures for ensuring the correctness and regularity of expenditure declared;

 

(d) computerised systems for accounting, for the storage and transmission of financial data and data on indicators, for monitoring and for reporting;

 

(e) systems for reporting and monitoring where the responsible body entrusts execution of tasks to another body;

 

(f) arrangements for auditing the functioning of the management and control systems;

 

(g) systems and procedures to ensure an adequate audit trail;

 

(h) the prevention, detection and correction of irregularities, including fraud, and the recovery of amounts unduly paid, together with any interest;

 

Amendment  103

Proposal for a regulation

Article 27

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 27

deleted

Responsibilities of Member States

 

1. Member States shall fulfil the management, control and audit obligations and assume the resulting responsibilities laid down in the rules on shared management set out in the Financial Regulation and this Regulation. In accordance with the principle of shared management, Member States shall be responsible for the management and control of operational programmes.

 

2. Member States shall prevent, detect and correct irregularities and shall recover amounts unduly paid, together with any interest on late payments. They shall notify these irregularities to the Commission and shall keep the Commission informed of the progress of related administrative and legal proceedings.

 

When amounts unduly paid to a beneficiary cannot be recovered and this is as a result of fault or negligence on the part of a Member State, the Member State shall be responsible for reimbursing the amounts concerned to the general budget of the Union.

 

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 59 laying down detailed rules concerning the obligations of the Member States specified in this paragraph.

 

3. Member States shall establish and implement a procedure for the independent examination and resolution of complaints concerning the selection or implementation of operations co-financed by the Fund. Member States shall report the results of such examinations to the Commission upon request.

 

4. All official exchanges of information between the Member State and the Commission shall be carried out using an electronic data exchange system established in compliance with the terms and conditions laid down by the Commission by means of implementing acts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 60(3).

 

Amendment  104

Proposal for a regulation

Article 28

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 28

deleted

Designation and organisation of management and control bodies

 

1. The Member State shall designate a national public authority or body as managing authority.

 

2. The Member State shall designate a national public authority or body as a certifying authority, without prejudice to paragraph 3.

 

3. The Member State may designate a managing authority which carries out in addition the functions of the certifying authority.

 

4. The Member State shall designate a national public authority or body, functionally independent from the managing authority and the certifying authority, as audit authority.

 

5. Provided that the principle of separation of functions is respected, the managing authority, the certifying authority, where applicable, and the audit authority may be part of the same public authority or body.

 

6. The Member State may designate one or more intermediate bodies to carry out certain tasks of the managing or the certifying authority under the responsibility of that authority. The relevant arrangements between the managing authority or certifying authority and the intermediate bodies shall be formally recorded in writing.

 

7. The Member State or the managing authority may entrust the management of part of the operational programme to an intermediate body by way of an agreement in writing between the intermediate body and the Member State or managing authority. The intermediate body shall provide guarantees of its solvency and competence in the domain concerned, as well as its administrative and financial management.

 

8. The Member State shall lay down in writing rules governing its relations with the managing authority, certifying authority and audit authority, the relations between such authorities, and the relations of such authorities with the Commission.

 

Amendment  105

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 29

deleted

Functions of the managing authority

 

1. The managing authority shall be responsible for managing the operational programme in accordance with the principle of sound financial management.

 

2. As regards the management of the operational programme, the managing authority shall:

 

(a) draw up and submit to the Commission annual and final implementation reports;

 

(b) make available to intermediate bodies and beneficiaries information that is relevant to the execution of their tasks and the implementation of operations respectively;

 

(c) establish a system to record and store in computerised form data necessary for monitoring, evaluation, financial management, verification and audit;

 

(d) ensure that the data referred to in point (c) is collected, entered and stored in the system, in compliance with the provisions Directive 95/46/CE.

 

3. As regards the selection of operations, the managing authority shall:

 

(a) Draw up and apply appropriate selection procedures and criteria that are non-discriminatory and transparent;

 

(b) ensure that the selected operation:

 

(i) falls within the scope of the Fund and the operational programme;

 

(ii) fulfils the criteria set out in the operational programme and in Articles 20, 21 and 24;

 

(iii) takes into account the principles set out in Article 5(10), (11) and (12).

 

(c) provide to the beneficiary a document setting out the conditions for support of each operation including the specific requirements concerning the products or services to be delivered under the operation, the financing plan, and the time-limit for execution;

 

(d) satisfy itself that the beneficiary has the administrative, financial and operational capacity to fulfil the conditions defined in point (c) before approval of the operation;

 

(e) satisfy itself that, where the operation has started before the submission of an application for funding to the managing authority, Union and national rules relevant for the operation have been complied with;

 

(f) determine the type of material assistance to which the expenditure of an operation shall be attributed.

 

4. As regards the financial management and control of the operational programme, the managing authority shall:

 

(a) verify that the co-financed products and services have been delivered and that expenditure declared by the beneficiaries has been paid by them and that it complies with applicable Union and national law, the operational programme and the conditions for support of the operation;

 

(b) ensure that beneficiaries involved in the implementation of operations reimbursed pursuant to Article 23(1)(a) maintain either a separate accounting system or an adequate accounting code for all transactions relating to an operation;

 

(c) put in place effective and proportionate anti-fraud measures taking into account the risks identified;

 

(d) set up procedures to ensure that all documents regarding expenditure and audits required to ensure an adequate audit trail are held in accordance with the requirements of Article 26(g);

 

(e) draw up the management declaration and annual summary referred to in Article 56 (5) (a) and (b) of the Financial Regulation.

 

5. Verifications pursuant to paragraph 4(a) shall include the following procedures:

 

(a) administrative verifications in respect of each application for reimbursement by beneficiaries;

 

(b) on-the-spot verifications of operations.

 

The frequency and coverage of the on-the-spot verifications shall be proportionate to the amount of public support to an operation and the level of risk identified by these verifications and audits by the audit authority for the management and control system as a whole.

 

6. On-the-spot verifications of individual operations pursuant to paragraph (5)(b) may be carried out on a sample basis.

 

7. Where the managing authority is also a beneficiary under the operational programme, arrangements for the verifications referred to in paragraph 4(a) shall ensure adequate separation of functions.

 

8. The Commission shall adopt delegated acts, in accordance with Article 59, laying down the modalities of the exchange of information in paragraph 2(c).

 

9. The Commission shall adopt delegated acts, in accordance with Article 59, laying down rules concerning arrangements for the audit trail referred to in paragraph 4(d).

 

10. The Commission shall adopt, by means of implementing acts, the template for the management declaration referred to in paragraph 4(e). Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 60(2).

 

Amendment  106

Proposal for a regulation

Article 30

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 30

deleted

Functions of the certifying authority

 

The certifying authority shall be responsible in particular for the following:

 

1. drawing up and submitting to the Commission payment applications and certifying that these result from reliable accounting systems, are based on verifiable supporting documents and have been subject to verifications by the managing authority;

 

2. drawing up the annual accounts referred to in Article 56 (5) (a) of the Financial Regulation;

 

3. certifying the completeness, accuracy and veracity of the annual accounts and that the expenditure entered in the accounts complies with applicable Union and national rules and has been incurred in respect of operations selected for funding in accordance to the criteria applicable to the operational programme and complying with Union and national rules;

 

4. ensuring that there is a system which records and stores, in computerised form, accounting records for each operation, and which supports all the data required for drawing up payment applications and annual accounts, including records of amounts recoverable, amounts recovered and amounts withdrawn following cancellation of all or part of the contribution for an operation or the operational programme;

 

5. ensuring for the purposes of drawing up and submission of payment applications that it has received adequate information from the managing authority on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation to expenditure;

 

6. taking into account when drawing up and submitting payment applications the results of all audits carried out by or under the responsibility of the audit authority;

 

7. maintaining accounting records in a computerised form of expenditure declared to the Commission and the corresponding public contribution paid to the beneficiaries;

 

8. keeping an account of amounts recoverable and of amounts withdrawn following cancellation of all or part of the contribution for an operation. Amounts recovered shall be repaid to the general budget of the Union prior to the closure of the operational programme by deducting them from the next statement of expenditure.

 

Amendment  107

Proposal for a regulation

Article 31

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 31

deleted

Functions of the audit authority

 

1. The audit authority shall ensure that audits are carried out on the management and control systems, on an appropriate sample of operations and on the annual accounts.

 

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 59 to set out the conditions which those audits shall fulfil.

 

2. Where audits are carried out by a body other than the audit authority, the audit authority shall ensure that any such body has the necessary functional independence.

 

3. The audit authority shall ensure that audit work takes account of internationally accepted audit standards.

 

4. The audit authority shall, within six months of adoption of the operational programme, prepare an audit strategy for performance of audits. The audit strategy shall set out the audit methodology, the sampling method for audits on operations and the planning of audits in relation to the current accounting year and the two subsequent accounting years. The audit strategy shall be updated annually from 2016 until and including 2022. The audit authority shall submit the audit strategy to the Commission upon request.

 

5. The audit authority shall draw up the following:

 

(a) an audit opinion in accordance with Article 56(5) of the Financial Regulation;

 

(b) an annual control report setting out the findings of the audits carried out during the preceding accounting year.

 

The report under point (b) shall set out any deficiencies found in the management and control system and any corrective measures taken or proposed to be taken.

 

6. The Commission shall adopt, by means of implementing acts, models for the audit strategy, the audit opinion and the annual control report, as well as the methodology for the sampling method referred to in paragraph 4. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 60(3)

 

7. Implementing rules concerning the use of data collected during audits carried out by Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 60(3).

 

Amendment  108

Proposal for a regulation

Article 32

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 32

deleted

Procedure for designation of the managing and the certifying authorities

 

1. Member states shall notify to the Commission the date and form of the designation of the managing authority and, where appropriate the certifying authority, within six months of the adoption of decision adopting the operational programme.

 

2. The designation referred to in paragraph 1 shall be based on a report and an opinion of an independent audit body that assesses the management and control system, including the role of intermediate bodies therein, and its compliance with Articles 26, 27, 29 and 30, in accordance with criteria on internal environment, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring established by the Commission by means of delegated act in accordance with Article 59.

 

3. The independent body shall carry out its work in accordance with internationally accepted audit standards.

 

4. Member States may decide that a managing authority or a certifying authority which has been designated in relation to an ESF co-financed operational programme pursuant to Regulation (EU) No [CPR] is deemed to be designated for the purposes of this Regulation.

 

The Commission may request, within two months of receipt of the notification referred to in paragraph 1, the report and the opinion of the independent audit body and the description of the management and control system.

 

The Commission may make observations within two months of receipt of those documents.

 

5. The Member State shall supervise the designated body and withdraw its designation by formal decision if one or more of the criteria referred to in paragraph 2 are no longer met, unless the body takes the necessary remedial actions within a period of probation to be determined by the Member State according to the severity of the problem. The Member State shall notify the Commission immediately of the setting of any probation period for a designated body and of any withdrawal decision.

 

Amendment  109

Proposal for a regulation

Article 33

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 33

deleted

Commission powers and responsibilities

 

1. The Commission shall satisfy itself on the basis of available information, including the information on the designation of the managing authority and the certifying authority, annual management declaration, annual control reports, annual audit opinion, annual implementation report and audits carried out by national and Union bodies, that the Member States have set up management and control systems that comply with this Regulation and that these systems function effectively during the implementation of operational programme.

 

2. Without prejudice to audits carried out by Member States, Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may carry out on-the-spot audits or checks upon giving adequate prior notice. The scope of such audits or checks may include, in particular, verification of the effective functioning of management and control systems in an operational programme or a part thereof, operations and assessment of the sound financial management of operations or operational programme. Officials or authorised representatives of the Member State may take part in such audits.

 

Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives, duly empowered to carry out on-the-spot audits, shall have access to all records, documents and metadata, irrespective of the medium in which they are stored, relating to operations supported by the Fund or to management and control systems. Member States shall provide copies of such records, documents and metadata to the Commission upon request.

 

The powers set out in this paragraph shall not affect the application of national provisions which reserve certain acts for agents specifically designated by national legislation. Commission officials and authorised representatives shall not take part, inter alia, in home visits or the formal questioning of persons within the framework of national legislation. However, they shall have access to the information thus obtained.

 

3. The Commission may require a Member State to take the actions necessary to ensure the effective functioning of their management and control systems or the correctness of expenditure in accordance with this Regulation.

 

4. The Commission may require a Member State to examine a complaint submitted to the Commission concerning the implementation of operations co-financed by the Fund or the functioning of the management and control system.

 

Amendment  110

Proposal for a regulation

Article 34

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 34

deleted

Cooperation with audit authority

 

1. The Commission shall cooperate with audit authorities to coordinate their audit plans and methods and shall immediately exchange the results of audits carried out on management and control systems.

 

2. The Commission and the audit authority shall meet on a regular basis and at least once a year, unless otherwise agreed, to examine the annual control report, the opinion and the audit strategy, and to exchange views on issues relating to improvement of the management and control systems.

 

Amendment  111

Proposal for a regulation

Article 39 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Managing authority shall ensure that, in the case of grants to partner organisations, beneficiaries are provided with a flow sufficient to ensure proper implementation of the operations.

1. The competent authority shall ensure that, in the case of grants to partner organisations, beneficiaries are provided with a flow sufficient to ensure proper implementation of the operations.

Amendment  112

Proposal for a regulation

Article 39 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Managing authority shall ensure that the beneficiaries receive the total amount of public support as quickly as possible and in full and in any event before the inclusion of the corresponding expenditure in the payment application. No amount shall be deducted or withheld and no specific charge or other charge with equivalent effect shall be levied that would reduce these amounts for the beneficiaries.

2. The competent authority shall ensure that the beneficiaries receive the total amount of public support as quickly as possible and in full and in any event before the inclusion of the corresponding expenditure in the payment application. No amount shall be deducted or withheld and no specific charge or other charge with equivalent effect shall be levied that would reduce these amounts for the beneficiaries.

Amendment  113

Proposal for a regulation

Article 41 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Following the Commission decision adopting the operational programme, a pre-financing amounting 11% of the Fund overall contribution to the operational programme concerned shall be paid by the Commission.

1. Following the Commission decision adopting the operational programme, pre-financing amounting to 20% of the Fund’s overall contribution to the operational programme concerned shall be paid by the Commission.

Amendment  114

Proposal for a regulation

Article 42 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The certifying authority shall submit on a regular basis an application for interim payment covering amounts entered in its accounts as public support paid to beneficiaries in the accounting year ending 30 June.

1. The competent authority shall submit on a regular basis an application for interim payment covering amounts entered in its accounts as public support paid to beneficiaries in the accounting year ending 30 June.

Amendment  115

Proposal for a regulation

Article 42 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The certifying authority shall submit the final application for interim payment by 31 July following the end of the previous accounting year and, in any event, before the first application for interim payment for the next accounting year.

2. The competent authority shall submit the final application for interim payment by 31 July following the end of the previous accounting year and, in any event, before the first application for interim payment for the next accounting year.

Amendment  116

Proposal for a regulation

Article 42 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The first application for interim payment shall not be made before the notification to the Commission of the designation of the managing authority and the certifying authority in accordance to Article 32(1).

3. The first application for interim payment shall not be made before the notification to the Commission of the designation of the competent authorities.

Amendment  117

Proposal for a regulation

Article 43

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 43

deleted

Interruption of the time limit payment

 

1. The time limit for the payment of an interim payment claim may be interrupted by the authorising officer by delegation within the meaning of the Financial Regulation for a maximum period of nine months when the following conditions are met:

 

(a) on the basis of the information provided by a national or Union audit body, there is evidence to suggest a significant deficiency in the functioning of the management and control system;

 

(b) the authorising officer by delegation has to carry out additional verifications following information coming to his attention alerting him that expenditure in a request for payment is linked to an irregularity having serious financial consequences;

 

(c) there is a failure to submit one of the documents required under Article 45(1).

 

2. The authorising officer by delegation may limit the interruption to the part of the expenditure covered by the payment claim affected by the elements referred to in paragraph 1. The authorising officer by delegation shall inform the Member State and the managing authority immediately of the reason for interruption and shall ask them to remedy the situation. The interruption shall be ended by the authorising officer by delegation as soon as the necessary measures have been taken.

 

Amendment  118

Proposal for a regulation

Article 44

Text pro