COVID-19 and natural disasters: €823 million in EU aid for eight member states
On Tuesday, Parliament approved €823 million in EU aid for the Croatia earthquake, floods in Poland, and the response to the coronavirus crisis in seven EU countries.
- Most of the aid, over €692 million, will assist Croatia in rebuilding following the March earthquake and in dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic
- €124 million for Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Hungary, and Portugal to tackle the COVID-19 health emergency
- €7 million for Poland for reconstruction following June floods
The €823 million in aid from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) will be distributed as follows:
- More than €132.7 million to be distributed in advance payments to Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Hungary, and Portugal in response to the major public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
- Croatia will receive €683.7 million to help the country deal with the devastating effects of the earthquake in Zagreb and the surrounding area in March 2020. A first disbursement of €88.9 million was already released in August 2020.
- More than €7 million will go to Poland to assist reconstruction efforts following floods in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship province in June this year.
EU Solidarity Fund modified in response to COVID-19
As part of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII), in 2020 the scope of the EU Solidarity Fund rules was extended, enabling the EU to help countries respond to major public health emergencies.
Overall, 19 EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain) and three accession countries (Albania, Montenegro, and Serbia) have requested assistance in tackling the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. Of these, seven countries requested that the payment be made in advance, which Parliament approved with this vote.
The report approving the accompanying draft amending budget, by rapporteur Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE), was adopted with 682 votes in favour, 8 against and 2 abstentions.
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