The European Parliament on Tuesday approved 823 million euros in EU aid from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to be distributed to member states suffering from natural disasters and the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
More than 132.7 million euros will 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 also receive 683.7 million euros to deal with the devastating effects of the earthquake in Zagreb and the surrounding area in March 2020.
In addition, more than 7 million euros 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 the parliament approved on Tuesday.
The Council of Ministers approved the advance payments on October 30, which can now be disbursed following the plenary vote. The Commission is currently assessing the applications received. Once this assessment has been completed, the Commission will put forward a proposal to make the final payments.