European Union Solidarity Fund Annual Report 2016

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Period : 2014-2020
Date : 18/12/2017

Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the EU Solidarity Fund (‘the Regulation’) provides in its Article 12 that a report on the activity of the Fund in the previous year shall be presented to the European Parliament and to the Council. The present report describes the activities of the EU Solidarity Fund (‘the Solidarity Fund’) during the year 2016. The report summarises the applications received and the cases closed in 2016. Applications submitted to the Commission in 2016 were assessed according to the revised criteria laid down in the Regulation following its amendment in 2014.

In 2016, the Commission received six applications for financial contribution from the Solidarity Fund, namely from Greece (Lefkada earthquake), from the United Kingdom (flooding), from Germany (Lower Bavaria flooding), from Cyprus (drought and fires), from Portugal (Madeira fires) and from Italy (earthquakes). The series of earthquakes in the Italian Apennines between August 2016 and January 2017 represents the biggest natural disaster for the Solidarity Fund.

Four countries requested advance payments introduced with the revision of the Regulation in 2014. In these cases the Commission paid out the advances amounting to a total of EUR 31.3 million within a few weeks after receiving the applications.

In 2016, the Solidarity Fund was mobilised for an amount of EUR 33.1 million for two applications, namely for the earthquake in Greece and the flooding in Germany. Decisions on the other four applications received in 2016 were taken in early 2017.

In 2016, the Commission closed four Solidarity Fund interventions. Details are described in Section 4.

Annex I presents the ‘major disaster’ thresholds applicable in 2016 for mobilising the Solidarity Fund. Annex II presents an overview of the applications received in 2016 including the relevant financial information. 

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