On Monday 6th February, the European Commission launched an Open Public Consultation on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). The consultation, which will be available online until 5 May 2017, provides the opportunity to provide a midterm evaluation of the FEAD through participating in a questionnaire. The survey is aimed at giving citizens, social partners, organisations and public authorities the chance to give feedback through both multi-choice and open questions.

The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) supports EU countries’ actions to provide material assistance to the most deprived, and supports people taking their first steps out of poverty and social exclusion. The FEAD’s overarching objective is to enhance social cohesion and eradicate poverty in line with the Europe 2020 strategy; a key target area of which is to reduce those at risk of or experiencing poverty by 20 million people. Specific focus areas of the fund include material assistance, and social inclusion and integration activities for the most deprived members of society.

In recent months Eurodiaconia has been providing its members with the tools and space to discuss themes relating to the FEAD, and to the wider EU context on poverty, social exclusion and migration. In addition, several of our members from Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, France, Czech Republic and from Salvation Army Europe have been involved in the FEAD Network in Brussels, an open community for exchange and sharing of best practice among those providing assistance to the most deprived in Europe. In October 2016 Eurodiaconia presented successful projects from the Church of Sweden (Digniti Omnia – A worthier life for all) and Kirkens Koshær (Kompasset – The Compass), both of which were funded through the FEAD.

This July, Eurodiaconia will organise, alongside the Church of Sweden, a study visit in Vaxjo called ‘’Digniti Omnia – A worthier life for all’’. This project is funded through FEAD. It aims to support vulnerable EU-citizens, by focusing on four areas: health, legal counselling, language courses and digital communications training.

Our members have generally had a positive experience with the fund, stressing its importance and potential in providing help for the most deprived, and as such we welcome the Commission’s announcement of the Open Public Consultation.