The online FEAD Community Conference (22-23 October 2020) was the first mutual learning event of a cycle of capacity-building activities aimed at improving the delivery of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) at national, regional and local level.
The event brought together local, regional and national stakeholders involved in the implementation of FEAD, including: Managing Authorities, Intermediate Bodies, beneficiaries and partner organisations providing support, independent experts, civil society organisations and representatives from the European Commission. The Conference focused on:
- Taking stock of FEAD Network achievements so far;
- Drawing lessons from the health and social crises brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic;
- Identifying the challenges that need to be tackled by the stakeholders involved and possible steps to overcome them – not only during the transition period, but also in response to the COVID-19 related crisis and in view of the next programming period (ESF+).
Many members of Eurodiaconia also continue to be active in the FEAD and continue their support to the most vulnerable in our societies. One of the key aspects for us is that the FEAD provision on accompanying measures is a fundamental feature of the current fund in reaching out to the most deprived. This approach must be upheld and further developed to support Member States working for social cohesion. The work of the FEAD Community and our members is testimony that keeping a people-centred approach and the role of the beneficiaries in the core design of the new operational programmes and adoption of existing models, e.g. regarding COVID-19, will be key to help them reach full inclusion.
We appreciate that the new FEAD fund will facilitate more combinations and cooperation between the current Operational Programme I and Operational Programme II. However, in order to make EU funding as practical as possible, involving civil society in accordance with the partnership principle is essential for Eurodiaconia’s members.
Given Eurodiaconia’s members’ significant contribution to the FEAD’s network activities, Eurodiaconia was invited last year to join an Advisory Group that was set up to contribute to the FEAD mutual learning activities post-2019.
To know more about the The FEAD Community Conference, please read the summary report.