The European Parliament's Budget Committee today approved the disbursement of the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to the tune of €446,8 million for assistance in the event of natural disasters with 26 votes in favour (1 against, 2 abstentions). Henrike Hahn, Member of the European Parliament (The Greens/EFA), substitute member of the Committee on Budgets and shadow rapporteur for the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF), comments:
"Solidarity is a fundamental principle of the EU in times of crisis - this applies to member states as well as to countries that are in accession negotiations. Therefore, Türkiye shall receive €400 million from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) in response to the earthquakes in February this year. The Budget Committee voted for this with a clear majority today. The EUSF is lived solidarity and an important contribution to the financing of reconstruction and emergency measures in Türkiye.
We Europeans are deeply saddened by the loss of life and the terrible devastation caused by the powerful earthquake Türkiye. With the EUSF, we stand ready to support the people affected.
With the EUSF disbursements now pending, however, it must also be clear that combating climate change must be the focus of the EU - and that preventative rather than remedial measures are important. The current forest fires in the Mediterranean region and the floods and rainstorms in Central and Eastern Europe are a renewed wake-up call that extreme weather events are being amplified and multiplied by climate change. The motto is prevention instead of after-the-fact measures in times of climate change. EU funds must be ambitiously invested in the right places to combat climate change. I was able to successfully include this important aspect in the final report of the Budget Committee.
I therefore also welcome that the Commission in its proposal for the revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework provides for an increase in funds to be used for the EUSF. In the Budget Committee's report, I was able to emphasize once again that, in view of the increasing number of natural disasters, we need a significant increase in EUSF funds and I hope that this will be expressly supported by the Council, including the German finance minister."
The EUSF will provide a total amount of €446,8 million. Romania is to receive €33.8 million for the droughts and forest fires between March and August 2022. Italy is supposed to receive €20.9 million for the floods in September 2022. Türkiye is scheduled to receive €400 million in response to the earthquakes in February of this year. After today's vote in the Budget Committee, the disbursements still have to be approved on October 4th in plenary.
I would be happy to answer any further questions.