EC proposes new Emergency Assistance instrument for faster crisis response within the EU
As the refugee crisis continues to put pressure on many European Member States, the Commission proposes a faster way for support to be provided to tackle wide-ranging humanitarian crises within the EU.
Yesterday the European Commission proposed an Emergency Assistance instrument to be used within the European Union to provide a faster, more targeted response to major crises, including helping Member States cope with large numbers of refugees.
The initiative comes as the refugee crisis reaches an unprecedented scale with the need to provide immediate emergency support in several Member States hosting large amounts of refugees on their territories.
From the outset the Commission has been committed to supporting its Member States through all means possible and the proposal is a direct follow up to the European Council of 18-19 February, when governments called on the Commission to develop the capacity to provide emergency assistance internally.
European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said yesterday: "With this proposal, we will be able to deliver emergency assistance for crises much faster than before, inside the European Union. Right now, there's no doubt that this will be particularly needed to support refugees. No time can be lost in deploying all means possible to prevent humanitarian suffering within our own borders. Today's proposal will make €700 million available to provide help where it is most needed. I now look to European governments and the European Parliament to quickly back the proposal."
Member States whose own response capacities are overwhelmed by urgent and exceptional circumstances, such as the sudden influx of refugees or other major disruptions could benefit from this new instrument. The provision of emergency assistance will be based on Article 122(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This will allow for support to be provided in the fastest and broadest possible way, in a spirit of solidarity between Member States.
Emergency assistance would be provided in close coordination with Member States and organisations such as UN agencies, non-governmental organisations and international organisations, and include the provision of basic necessities such as food, shelter and medicine to the large numbers of children, women and men currently arriving in EU countries.
The Commission will urgently propose, to the European Parliament and to the Council as the budgetary authorities, an amending budget for 2016 to create the budget line for the instrument. The estimated needs for 2016 are €300 million with a further €200 million each for use in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Funding would therefore not be diverted from existing external humanitarian aid programmes outside the EU. The EU remains committed to continue leading the international humanitarian response to the Syria crisis, amongst other global emergencies worldwide where EU humanitarian aid saves lives.
The Commission already announced on 10 February its intention to develop the EU's capacity to provide humanitarian assistance internally and the European Council conclusions of 19 February supported this intention. Building on the experience of the EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, humanitarian assistance would be directed at covering the great humanitarian needs of refugees and migrants within EU Member States
In response to the refugee crisis within the EU, so far a number of other instruments, such as the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) the Internal Security Fund (ISF) or the European Fund for the Most Deprived (FEAD) have already been providing significant financial resources for assistance within Europe. These instruments have proven their use, but they were not designed to address large humanitarian-scale needs.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM) has been used for mobilising material support such as shelter, hygiene material and medical supplies as well as expertise to support Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia in coping with the increased numbers of arrival. This solidarity mechanism, however, was designed for situations where one Member State is in need – it does not provide funding and relies on voluntary offers from Member States whose own support capacities may be overstretched at this time.
The Proposal for emergency support therefore aims at filling a gap - to have a more appropriate instrument available at Union level for addressing humanitarian needs within the territory of the EU.
For More Information
MEMO/16/483: Addressing humanitarian crises within the European Union
Website of Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management: http://ec.europa.eu/commission/2014-2019/stylianides_en
Latest News from
EU clears way for the EU Digital COVID Certificate15/06/2021 09:25:00
The Presidents of the three EU institutions, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission yesterday attended the official signing ceremony for the Regulation on the EU Digital COVID Certificate, marking the end of the legislative process.
Council agrees on new rules for cross-border energy infrastructure14/06/2021 16:48:00
The Council recently (11 June 2021) reached a general approach on the revision of the Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) Regulation.
Council approves conclusions on an EU renovation wave14/06/2021 15:25:00
The Council recently (11 June 2021) approved conclusions on a renovation wave that repairs the economy now, and creates green buildings for the future.
Council approves EU-UK agreement on fishing opportunities14/06/2021 13:25:00
The Council recently (11 June 2021) approved the agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom on fishing opportunities for 2021 and, for deep-sea stocks, for 2021 and 2022.
EU-U.S Joint statement on the humanitarian emergency in Tigray14/06/2021 09:25:00
EU-U.S Joint statement given recently (10 June 2021) on the humanitarian emergency in Tigray.
Talent Partnerships: Commission launches new initiative to address EU skills shortages and improve migration cooperation with partner countries11/06/2021 16:33:00
Today, the Commission is launching Talent Partnerships, a key initiative under the New Pact on Migration and Asylum that will help to address skills shortages in the European Union and to strengthen mutually-beneficial partnerships on migration with third countries.
Central America and Mexico: EU reaffirms support with €18.5 million in humanitarian and development aid11/06/2021 15:25:00
The EU yesterday announced at the 'Solidarity event for forcibly displaced persons and host communities in Central America and Mexico', that it will allocate €18.5 million in aid. Of this sum, €12 million represents humanitarian funding to Central America, and €6.5 million constitutes development assistance.
Council endorses new EU strategy on adaptation to climate change11/06/2021 14:38:00
The Council yesterday approved conclusions endorsing a new strategy that outlines a long-term vision for the EU to become a climate-resilient society that is fully adapted to the unavoidable impacts of climate change by 2050.
Child Labour: Statement by the European Commission and the High Representative on the World Day against Child Labour11/06/2021 13:25:00
Child Labour: Statement given by the European Commission and the High Representative on the World Day against Child Labour.
Education: EU increases its commitment to Global Partnership for Education with a pledge of €700 million for 2021-202711/06/2021 12:38:00
Ahead of the G7 Summit, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen yesterday announced that the European Union is pledging €700 million for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to help transform education systems for more than one billion girls and boys in up to 90 countries and territories.