A more flexible solidarity fund

July 26, 2013

Funding Scheme: 2013-07-26

Pgm2014 2020: Yes

Amorce:

Since its creation in 2002, the Solidarity Fund has responded to 52 disasters across Europe including earthquakes, forest fires, drought, storms and floods. 23 countries have been supported with more than €3.2 billion. 

Text:

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. 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. 

 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.

Key reforms:
• 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.

Background

The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was set up to support EU member states and accession countries by offering financial support after major natural disasters. 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.

Url description: Rapid

Url: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-732_en.htm?locale=en