28. Oktober 2021

2. Antwort Kommission zu unzureichenden EU-Fluthilfen

EU-HaushaltOffene Briefe

Ursula von der Leyen
The President
Brussels, 28. 10. 2021
Ares (2021) 5604808

Dear Honourable Member,

Thank you for your follow up questions in your letter of 13 September 2021 underlining the usefulness of EU support mechanisms. In your letter, you also point to the current budgetary situation as regards financial assistance available in case of natural disasters.

As you know, the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) is part of the Solidarity and Emergency Aid Reserve (SEAR), which is a ‘Thematic Special Instrument’. Funds available for the SEAR are over and above the budgetary ceilings, with a maximum
amount of EUR 1 200 million (in 2018 prices) per year, as set in Article 9 of the Regulation laying down the multi-annual financial framework for the years 2021-2027 (MFF Regulation)1 which was adopted by the co-legislators at the end of 2020.

The EUSF has been put under a severe strain in 2020 and 2021. This is mainly due to the exceptional size of the EUSF assistance put in place in relation to the CO VID-19 public health emergency (EUR 132.7 million in 2020 and EUR 397.4 million in 2021). Furthermore, the fund was also activated following the earthquakes in Croatia (EUR 682.7 million in 2020 and EUR 41 million for advance payment in 2021), as well as in relation to natural disasters in France and Greece (EUR 87 million).

As regards the Emergency Aid Reserve within the Union, the Commission mobilised more than EUR 120 million to reinforce the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI) and the EU contribution to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) with the aim of financing measures addressing the pandemic and further supporting Member States ’ genome sequencing capacity of CO VID-19 variants

As regards the Emergency Aid Reserve in third countries, the mobilisations reached EUR 334 million. This amount supported the roll out of CO VID-19 vaccinations in Africa, as well as the humanitarian response to famine and food insecurity in a number of African countries, Yemen, Afghanistan and Venezuela. It also provided emergency assistance to the crisis in the Tigray region.

To date, five Member States submitted their applications for EUSF support regarding the damages from the July floods. The Commission is assessing the information provided and damages claimed to have a comprehensive overview of the needs. Based on that information, the Commission will consider all possible options within our instruments to allow the EUSF to continue to deliver EU solidarity to Member States hit by major natural disasters.

Yours sincerely,
Ursula von der Leyen

1 Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2093 of 17 December 2020