European Union Solidarity Fund
I am often very critical of the European Union because I believe we can and have to do better. But today, I wanted to talk about a project from the EU that I support: the Solidarity Fund.
Natural Disasters are unpredictable and acting fast is essential to reduce damages, casualties and to recover the social and economic lives.
When Natural disasters act violent and damaged homes, schools and roads, for example, life gets turned upside down. Business shut and transport stops which is terrible for the economy. It’s essential to act fast.
Some damage is costly and takes time to repair and that is why there is the Solidarity Fund.
It was set up in 2002 to respond to major natural disasters like wildfires, floods, and earthquakes. All member states and regions can apply within 3 months of an event for EU funds.
The commission evaluates applications, parliament, and council have to approve the payment and states implement them.
Since it was created, the fund responded to 76 disasters with 5 billion euros in aid to 24 countries, rebuilding not only roads, schools, and houses, but people’s lives.
The first countries to request intervention were Austria, Czech Republic, France and Germany in August 2002 regarding a series of floods worth 320 million euros.
The country who received most funds in the past 16 years was Italy, that was hit by 3 major earthquakes, one eruption of Volcano and 3 floods, all worth 2,5 billion euros of damage.