On Thursday, MEPs approved nearly €720 million in EU Solidarity Fund aid following natural disasters in seven EU countries in 2021.
The Fund was created as a reaction to the severe floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002. Since then, it has been used for 100 disasters covering a range of different catastrophic events including floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought. The Fund also has been mobilised for 20 interventions as a response to public health emergencies. 28 different European countries have been supported so far for an amount of over € 7 billion.
The €718.5 million in aid from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) will be distributed as follows:
In relation to the catastrophic floods in July 2021:
- €612.6 million for Germany
- €87.7 million for Belgium
- €4.7 million for the Netherlands
- €797,520 for Austria
- €1.8 million for Luxembourg
- In relation to the volcano eruption in La Palma, Spain: €9.5 million
- In relation to the earthquake in Crete, Greece: €1.4 million.
The aid package was approved by MEPs by 30 votes in favour, no votes against and no abstentions.
“The money from the EU Solidarity Fund approved by the Committee on Budgets today is a clear and important sign of European solidarity in times of crisis. However, fighting effectively against the causes of climate change, so that we do not have to rely on the EUSF too frequently, should be a priority for the EU, because prevention is better than after-the-fact measures,” said Rapporteur Henrike Hahn (Greens/EFA, DE).
More information can be found here (Commission proposal) and in the EP report by rapporteur Henrike Hahn (Greens/EFA, DE), who recommends approving the EUSF assistance. The vote in plenary is scheduled for the December session.