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Revised EU Solidarity Fund Regulation in force

The revised EU Solidarity Fund Regulation entered into force on 28 June and simplifies the existing rules so that aid can be paid out more rapidly than before. The use of advance payments will be become possible for the first time for Member States from 2015.

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 GDP at NUTS2 level
  • Special threshold for outermost regions: 1% of regional GDP
  • 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.

Official Journal

EU Solidarity Fund Website

EU Solidarity Fund: Commission welcomes Parliament’s approval of a faster and simpler response to disasters

Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn has welcomed the European Parliament's vote today to endorse reform of the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF), strengthening the EU’s response to natural disasters across European regions.

Commenting on the vote, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said: "I welcome the European Parliament’s approval of a system that will work better and respond faster to help citizens affected by natural disasters. This is solidarity in action, sending a clear political signal, as well as genuine assistance, to rebuild and recover after economic and social damage to a region.”

The new rules which still need formal approval by the Council foresee a longer aid application deadline; a faster response time; a possibility of advance payments, and clearer criteria for “regional”, disasters - allowing the Commission to assess applications more quickly.

Since its creation in 2002, the Solidarity Fund has responded to 56 disasters across Europe including earthquakes, forest fires, drought, storms and floods. 23 countries have been supported with more than €3.6 billion.

More information:

Statement by Commissioner Hahn

Q&A on the reform of the European Union Solidarity Fund

European Parliament Press Release

Den Europæiske Unions Solidaritetsfond (EUSF) blev oprettet for at kunne reagere hurtigt på store naturkatastrofer og udvise europæisk solidaritet med katastroferamte regioner i Europa. Fonden blev oprettet i kølvandet på de alvorlige oversvømmelser i Centraleuropa i sommeren 2002. Siden da er fonden blevet brugt ved 60 katastrofer lige fra oversvømmelser og skovbrande til jordskælv, storme og tørke. Indtil videre har 23 lande i Europa modtaget støtte på over 3.6 milliarder euro. Se en liste over alle interventioner PDF en

Ansøgninger

Alle ansøgninger skal modtages af Kommissionen senest 12 uger efter de første skader, der er forårsaget af katastrofen.

Det anbefales på det kraftigste, at det organ, som skal udarbejde ansøgningen, hurtigt tager direkte kontakt med det ansvarlige kontor i Generaldirektoratet for Regionalpolitik, som kan give gode råd, så sagen kan behandles hurtigst muligt.

Denne side opdateres jævnligt. Du skal downloade den seneste udgave af ansøgningsskemaet.

  • Ansøgningsskema (Seneste opdatering: 11-07-2014)Word en
  • Vejledende noter Word en
  • Tærskler for større katastrofer PDF en
  • Tærskler for regionale katastrofer PDF en
  • Sådan fastsættes tærskler for katastrofer, der vedrører flere regioner (baseret på det vejede gennemsnitlige BNP) xls en

Kommissionen vurderer ansøgningen, og fremsætter – hvis ansøgningen godkendes – forslag om et støttebeløb for Europa-Parlamentet og Rådet, som skal godkende støttebeløbet, før det kan udbetales. Når bevillingerne bliver tilgængelige på EU-budgettet, vedtager Kommissionen en afgørelse om tildeling af støtte til den pågældende medlemsstat, hvorefter støtten straks udbetales i en enkelt rate. Når støtten er udbetalt, har den pågældende medlemsstat ansvaret for gennemførelsen, herunder udvælgelsen af operationer samt revision og kontrol af disse. Nødforanstaltninger kan finansieres med tilbagevirkende kraft fra katastrofens første dag.

Det er værd at bemærke, at fonden ikke er et instrument for hurtig reaktion og beredskab ved naturkatastrofer. Finansiel støtte kan kun tildeles lande efter en ansøgnings- og budgetprocedure, der kan tage adskillige måneder at gennemføre.

Kontakt

Europa-Kommissionen
Generaldirektoratet for Regional og Urbanpolitik
Kontor E1/EUSF
1049 Bruxelles
Belgien
Johannes Wachter
telefon: +32 2 296 65 15
Andrea Lamprecht
telefon: +32 2 298 10 68

Yderligere oplysninger English >

In what cases does the EUSF assist?

The EUSF

The EUSF can provide financial aid to Member States and countries engaged in accession negotiations in the event of a major natural disaster if total direct damage caused by the disaster exceeds €3 billion at 2011 prices or 0.6% of the country's gross national income, whichever is the lower. A neighbouring Member State or accession country that is affected by the same disaster as an eligible country for which a major disaster has been recognised can also receive aid, even if the amount of damage does not reach the threshold.

The Fund can also be mobilised in the event of a regional disaster.

With what budget?

Solidarity Fund aid can be mobilised up to a maximum annual total of € 500 million (in 2011 prices) plus the unspent allocation from the preceding year which is raised over and above the normal EU budget. Individual grants have to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council following a proposal from the Commission. One quarter of this amount must remain available on 1 October of every year to meet possible needs through to the end of the year. In exceptional cases and if the resources remaining for the rest of the year are insufficient, the shortfall may be met out of the next year's budget.

For what actions?

The EUSF

The EUSF supplements Member States' public expenditure for the following essential emergency operations:

  • Immediate restoration to working order of infrastructure and plant in the fields of energy, drinking water, waste water, transport, telecommunications, health and education
  • Providing temporary accommodation and emergency services to meet the immediate needs of the population;
  • Immediate securing of prevention infrastructures and measures to protect the cultural heritage;
  • Cleaning up of disaster-stricken areas, including natural zones.

The EUSF was not set up with the aim of meeting all the costs linked to natural disasters. The Fund is limited in principle to non-insurable damage and does not compensate for private losses. Long-term action – such as lasting reconstruction, economic redevelopment and prevention – are not eligible for EUSF aid. It could, however, qualify for aid under other instruments, most notably the Structural Funds and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Examples

Austria - Flooding of August 2005 (regional disaster)

In August 2005, heavy flooding occurred in parts of two Austrian Länder Vorarlberg and Tyrol. The flooding caused severe damage to the agricultural sector, to tourism, residential properties and businesses, to the transport network and other infrastructure. The total direct damage was estimated at EUR 591.94 million which represents approximately 0.27 % of Austria's GNI. Since the figure is lower than the applicable threshold for mobilising the Solidarity Fund for major disasters (0.6 % of Austria's GNI, i.e. EUR 1.3363 billion), the application was therefore examined under exceptional criteria for so-called extraordinary regional disasters. The Commission came to the conclusion that the application provided sufficient evidence to allow exceptionally mobilising the Solidarity Fund and to grant financial aid amounting to EUR 14.79 million. The aid was used for:

  1. the immediate restoration to working order of infrastructure, in particular in restoration of state roads. Total EUSF contribution: EUR 9.86 million.
  2. the immediate securing of preventive infrastructures, in particular of restoration of damaged embankments of water courses, including the removal of trees and rubble, damming, stabilisation and restoration of river beds. Total EUSF contribution: EUR 4.93 million.

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