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Additional EU funds to help post-earthquake reconstruction Italy?

Responding to the application of Italy, the Commission has proposed to amend the EU 2012 Budget and mobilise the European Union Solidarity Fund to contribute to the reconstruction of Italian region which suffered devastating earthquakes this May and June.

Having received a request from the Italian government and having performed an examination by its services, the Commission has proposed to amend the EU budget in order to provide much-needed financial assistance of around EUR 670.2 million from the European Union Solidarity Fund for the reconstruction of Emilia-Romagna, the Italian region which suffered a series of earthquakes in May and June 2012. The money will be used to restore infrastructure, provide housing and rescue services, ensure preventive infrastructure and immediate protection of cultural heritage. According to the preliminary analysis, it would not be possible to match these unexpected needs with redeployments within the current EU budget, which is why the Commission has proposed a corresponding increase of payments to finance this EU assistance.

Background information
The total annual budget available for the Solidarity Fund is EUR 1 000 million. As solidarity was the central justification for the creation of the Fund, the Commission takes the view that aid from the Fund should be progressive. That means that, according to previous practice, the portion of the damage exceeding the threshold (0.6 % of the GNI or EUR 3 billion in 2002 prices, whichever is the lower amount) should give rise to higher aid intensity than damage up to the threshold. The rate applied in the past for defining the allocations for major disasters is 2.5 % of total direct damage under the threshold for mobilising the Fund and 6 % above. The methodology for calculating Solidarity Fund aid was set out in the 2002-2003 Annual Report on the Solidarity Fund and accepted by the Council and the European Parliament.

The Commission has proposed to apply the same percentages in this case and to grant these aid amounts, following the effects of the earthquakes in Emilia-Romagna, Italy:

(EUR million)

Direct damage accepted


Amount based on 2.5%

Amount based on 6.0%

Total amount of aid proposed

13 113,5

3 606,0




More information

Homepage of Janusz Lewandowski, Commissioner for Budget