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Making the EU Solidarity Fund faster and simpler for support after
European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn has today
presented a proposal to reform the EU Solidarity Fund.
The plans, adopted today by the European Commission, will make the fund
more responsive and simpler to use with clearer criteria as to who can benefit.
Since its creation in 2002, the Solidarity Fund has responded to 52
disasters across Europe including earthquakes, forest fires, drought, storms and
23 countries have been supported with more than €3.2 billion.
If today's proposals are approved by the European Parliament and EU
member states, disaster-hit countries and regions can expect significant
improvements to the way the Solidarity Fund works.
Commissioner Hahn commented:
"We must be more responsive in helping countries to rebuild and recover
The European Commission's proposal is a clear expression of solidarity
to help Europe's regions or countries when they are most in need.
The changes we have agreed will make the Solidarity Fund faster,
clearer, and simpler to use.
It will also encourage countries to step up their efforts in preventing
and managing disasters in the first place.
I would now urge the European Parliament and Member States to approve
these plans and lose no time in creating a Solidarity Fund that will work more
efficiently and effectively."
The new legislative proposal simplifies the existing rules so that aid
can be paid out more rapidly than is currently the case.
The plans also introduce the possibility of advance payments for the
first time.They spell out more clearly who and what will be eligible,
particularly for regional disasters.
As well as this, the reform encourages Member States to put disaster
prevention and risk management strategies higher on the agenda.
The principles of the Fund are unchanged as is the way it is financed,
outside the normal EU budget.
- To clarify the scope of the Solidarity Fund limiting it to natural
disasters and extending it to drought.
- Clearer rules on eligibility for regional disasters, introducing one
single damage threshold for aid - 1.5% of regional gross domestic product;
- Possibility of advance payments for the first time: 10% of
anticipated contribution, capped at €30 million;
- Shorter administrative procedure by merging two stages of approval
and implementation into one agreement;
- Introduction of measures to encourage disaster risk prevention
strategies: reporting requirements and possible conditions for aid.
The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was set up to support EU
member states and accession countries by offering financial support after major
The Fund was created in the wake of the severe floods in Central Europe
in the summer of 2002. List of all EUSF grants
In principle, assistance from the Fund is limited to the financing of
emergency operations carried out by the public authorities.
Damage suffered by private individuals or losses of income cannot be
covered by the Fund.
On 6 October 2011, the Commission published a Communication on the
Future of the Solidarity Fund.
The amending regulation for the European Solidarity Fund was presented
by the Commission today on (25 July.) It will now be transmitted to the European
Parliament and Council for adoption.