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The European Union Food Distribution programme for the Most Deprived Persons of the community, 1987-2013: From agricultural policy to social inclusion policy?

The European Union Food Distribution programme for the Most Deprived Persons of the community, 1987-2013: From agricultural policy to social inclusion policy?

Health Policy 119(7): 932-940

The European Union Food Distribution programme for the Most Deprived Persons (MDP) of the community ran from 1987 until 2013. It was funded from Common Agricultural Policy budgets. The programme initially made use of surplus foods from the food mountains resulting from intervention stocks. This food was then distributed through aid agencies within member states, coordinated at a national government level. Reform of the CAP and global rises in food prices resulted in an increase in budget from €300 to €500 million Euros in 2010 with the added power to buy food on the open market. This led to a formal challenge to the scheme on the basis that buying goods on the open market shifted the emphasis from an agricultural/financial basis to a social one. A court ruling found that because the program was no longer used for removing surpluses the link to agriculture policy has become tenuous and therefore had no basis in community law. As a result of this legal challenge a number of policy compromises ensured the MDP would continue until the end of 2013 with a reduced budget. The scheme has been superseded by a new scheme in March 2014 called the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). This is seen as a social programme. The way that policy and politics developed and changed the MDP programme are set out. The article tracks its move from being an agricultural policy to a social welfare one. The key policy players and actors in this move are set out as are the changing context and policy frameworks. The replacement of the MDP by FEAD is discussed as is how intensive lobbying in 2012/13 resulted in the development of a new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD).

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Accession: 059006352

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PMID: 26001298

DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2015.05.001

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