Procedure : 2019/2023(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A9-0002/2019

Texts tabled :

A9-0002/2019

Debates :

Votes :

PV 18/09/2019 - 9.3

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2019)0013

<Date>{05/09/2019}5.9.2019</Date>
<NoDocSe>A9-0002/2019</NoDocSe>
PDF 193kWORD 61k

<TitreType>REPORT</TitreType>

<Titre>on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund to provide assistance to Romania, Italy and Austria</Titre>

<DocRef>(COM(2019)0206 – C9‑0005/2019 – 2019/2023(BUD))</DocRef>


<Commission>{BUDG}Committee on Budgets</Commission>

Rapporteur: <Depute>Siegfried Mureşan</Depute>

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 ANNEX: DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 ANNEX : LETTER FROM THE COMMITTEE ON REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund to provide assistance to Romania, Italy and Austria

(COM(2019)0206 – C9‑0005/2019 – 2019/2023(BUD))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2019)0206 – C9‑0005/2019),

 having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund[1],

 having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020[2], and in particular Article 10 thereof,

 having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management[3], and in particular point 11 thereof,

 having regard to the letter from the Committee on Regional Development,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A9-0002/2019),

1. Welcomes the decision as a sign of the Union’s solidarity with the Union citizens and regions hit by the natural disasters;

2. Stresses the urgent need to release financial assistance through the European Union Solidarity Fund (‘the Fund’) to the regions affected by natural disasters in the Union in 2018;

3. Welcomes the Commission proposal[4] of 7 March 2019 to amend the Union Civil Protection Mechanism as a key tool for strengthening the Union’s disaster risk management capacities, with a financial envelope for the 2021-2027 financing period that matches the level of ambition set in the Decision (EU) 2019/420 of the European Parliament and of the Council[5] and in line with the European Parliament resolution of 14 November 2018 on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 [6]; is convinced that the Fund and the EU Civil Protection Mechanism should go hand in hand in preventing, preparing for and responding to natural disasters in the Member States;

4. Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

5. Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and the Commission.

ANNEX: DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund to provide assistance to Austria, Italy and Romania

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund[7], and in particular Article 4(3) thereof,

Having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters  and on sound financial management[8], and in particular point 11 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

Whereas:

(1) The European Union Solidarity Fund ('the Fund') aims to enable the Union to respond in a rapid, efficient and flexible manner to emergency situations in order to show solidarity with the population of regions struck by natural disasters.

(2) The Fund is not to exceed a maximum annual amount of EUR 500 000 000 (2011 prices), as laid down in Article 10 of Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013[9].

(3) On 7 September 2018, Romania submitted an application to mobilise the Fund, following extreme weather events provoking extensive floods.

(4) On 20 December 2018, Italy submitted an application to mobilise the Fund, following extreme weather events.

(5) On 14 January 2019, Austria submitted an application to mobilise the Fund, following extreme weather events.

(6) The applications by Romania, Italy and Austria meet the conditions for providing a financial contribution from the Fund, as laid down in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002.

(7) The Fund should therefore be mobilised in order to provide a financial contribution to Romania, Italy and Austria.

(8) In order to minimise the time taken to mobilise the Fund, this Decision should apply from the date of its adoption,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

Article 1

For the general budget of the Union for the financial year 2019, the European Union Solidarity Fund shall be mobilised as follows in commitment and payment appropriations:

(a) the amount of EUR 8 192 300 shall be provided to Romania;

(b) the amount of EUR 277 204 595 shall be provided to Italy;

(c) the amount of EUR 8 154 899 shall be provided to Austria.

Article 2

This Decision shall enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from … [the date of its adoption].

Done at...,

 

For the European Parliament  For the Council


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The Commission proposes to mobilise the European Union Solidarity Fund (hereafter the ‘Fund’) to grant financial assistance relating to extreme weather events that took place in the course of 2018 in Romania, Italy and Austria.

Romania - Flooding

In the summer of 2018, repeated severe rainfall in Romania’s North East region caused large-scale flooding in all six of the region’s counties with significant damages to infrastructure, such as dams, dykes, roads, bridges, water treatment and sewage systems, electricity and gas distribution, drinking water provision and irrigation systems, schools and other public buildings. There were also significant losses in agriculture and damages to private households.

In their application, received by the Commission on 7 September 2018, the Romanian authorities estimated total direct damages at EUR 196,8 million or 1,24% of the affected region’s GDP, i.e. below the threshold value for mobilising the EUSF in a NUTS 2 level region (of 1,5% of regional GDP). In the revised application submitted on 9 October 2018 and completed on 14 December 2018, the damage estimate was increased to EUR 327,7 million or 2,07% of regional GDP, thus making the disaster qualify as a ‘regional natural disaster’ within the meaning of Article 2(3) of the EUSF Regulation.

The total cost of eligible essential emergency and recovery operations, as defined under Article 3(2) of the Regulation, was estimated by the Romanian authorities at EUR 294 million, with the largest shares concerning the costs of securing protective infrastructure (embankments) and of restoring transport infrastructure.

The affected region falls in the category of ‘less developed regions’ under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) for the 2014-2020 financing period. The Romanian authorities did not declare the intention to reallocate funding from the ESIF programmes towards recovery measures. No advance was requested.

In line with past practice, the Commission proposes applying the rate of 2,5 % of total direct damage for cases under the ‘major disaster’ threshold (i.e. 0,6 % of GNI or EUR 3 billion in 2011 prices, whichever is the lower amount). The total amount of assistance proposed is therefore EUR 8 192 300.

 

Italy - Extreme weather events

In autumn 2018, extreme weather events hit almost all Italian regions from North to South, triggering landslides, flooding and fallen trees, resulting in 34 casualties and 1 missing person. The material damages included major disruptions in the road and river networks, damages to public and private buildings, interruptions in electrical power and gas networks, and significant losses for the wood-related economy as well as tourism. These weather events can be considered a single event from a meteorological point of view.

In their application of 20 December 2018 and updated on 27 March 2019, the Italian authorities presented damage estimates of EUR 6,6 billion (updated amount), corresponding to 192% of the threshold value applicable to Italy. These damage reports were confirmed by Copernicus Rapid Mapping reports and the European Severe Storms Laboratory database. As a result, the application qualifies under the criteria for a ‘major natural disaster’ as laid down in Article 2(2) of the Regulation.

The cost of emergency and recovery operations was estimated at over EUR 1 700 million, with the largest share for securing protective infrastructure.

Three of the affected regions (Calabria, Campania and Sicily) are ‘less developed regions’ under the ESIF, two are ‘regions in transition’ (Abruzzo and Sardinia), while the remaining 9 are ‘more developed regions’. No intention to reallocate ESIF funding towards recovery measures was signalled.

Again according to previous practice, the Commission considers that assistance should be progressive and proposes applying a rate of 2,5% to the portion of the damage below the ‘major natural disaster’ threshold value and 6% to the damage portion in excess of the threshold. The total amount of aid proposed is thus EUR 277 204 595.

 

Austria - Extreme weather events

In October 2018, the Carinthia and Eastern Tyrol regions in southern Austria were affected by the same meteorological phenomena that hit Italy. Heavy rainfall and storm winds led to flooding, significant damage to forests, landslides and power cuts.

The Austrian authorities applied for a contribution from the Fund on 14 January 2019 and updated the application on 20 February 2019. The total direct damage estimate of EUR 326,2 million is below the threshold for ‘major disasters’ applicable to Austria in 2018 as well as the ‘regional disaster’ threshold of 1,5% of regional GDP. As the disaster was caused by the same meteorological conditions as the major disaster in Italy, the application is eligible under the so-called ‘neighbouring country provision’ described in Article 2(4) of the Regulation.

The cost of emergency and recovery operations was estimated by the Austrian authorities at EUR 214,5 million, with the largest shares concerning measures to secure river embankments and avoid soil erosion.

The affected regions are ‘more developed regions’ under the ESIF. The Austrian authorities did not request the payment of an advance but declared the intention to use funds under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development for protective forest recreation measures.

The Commission proposes applying the usual 2,5% rate for disasters under the ‘neighbouring country’ provision, thus arriving at a proposed total financial contribution from the Fund of EUR 8 154 899.

 

Conclusion

The total amount proposed to be mobilised for Romania, Italy and Austria is EUR 293 551 794. This requires an amendment to the 2019 budget by means of a draft amending budget (DAB 3/2019) that aims at increasing budget line 13 06 01 'Assistance to Member States in the event of a major natural disaster with serious repercussions on living conditions, the natural environment or the economy' by the aforementioned amount in both commitment and payment appropriations.

The total amount available at the start of 2019 was EUR 851 082 072, i.e. the sum of the 2019 allocation of EUR 585 829 691 and the portion of the 2018 allocation of EUR 265 252 381 that remained unspent and was carried over to 2019.

This is the first mobilisation decision of 2019 and leaves available an amount of EUR 557 530 278 for the remainder of 2019, well above the amount legally required to be retained until 1 October 2019 in accordance with Article 10(1) of the MFF regulation (25% of the 2019 annual allocation, i.e. EUR 146 457 423).

The Rapporteur supports Member States using ESIF funds for the reconstruction of the affected regions, and invites the Commission to support and rapidly approve the reallocation of the partnership agreement requested by Austria for the reconstruction of these regions.

The Rapporteur recommends the swift approval of the Commission proposal for a decision annexed to this report, leading to the rapid mobilisation of the aforementioned amounts, as a sign of European solidarity with the three Member States concerned.

 

 

 

ANNEX : LETTER FROM THE COMMITTEE ON REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Mr Van Overtveldt

Chair

Committee on Budgets

BRUSSELS

Subject: <Titre>Opinion on Mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund</Titre> <DocRef>(COM(2019)0206 – C9-0005/2019 – 2019/2023(BUD))</DocRef>

Dear Mr Van Overtveldt,

A Commission proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to provide assistance to Romania, Italy and Austria (COM(2019)0206 – C9-0005/2019 – 2019/2023(BUD)) has been referred for opinion to the Committee on Regional Development. I understand that it is intended that a report on this will be soon adopted in the Committee on Budgets.

 

This proposal would mobilise the European Union Solidarity Fund as follows:

(a) EUR 8 192 300 to assist with the response to repeated severe rainfall and large-scale flooding in Romania’s North East region in the summer of 2018;

(b) EUR 277 204 595 to assist with the response to extreme weather events leading to landslides, flooding and fallen trees in almost all Italian regions in the autumn of 2018;

(c) EUR 8 154 899 to assist with the response to heavy rainfall and storm winds leading to flooding, significant damage to forests, landslides and power cuts in Carinthia and Eastern Tyrol in Austria in October 2018.

 

The rules applicable to financial contributions from the EUSF are laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund.

 

The committee coordinators have assessed this proposal, and asked me to write to you reporting that the majority of this committee has no objection to this mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund to allocate the above-mentioned amount as proposed by the Commission.

 

Yours sincerely,

Younous Omarjee


 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

3.9.2019

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

35

1

3

Members present for the final vote

Rasmus Andresen, Clotilde Armand, Robert Biedroń, Anna Bonfrisco, Jonathan Bullock, Olivier Chastel, Lefteris Christoforou, David Cormand, Paolo De Castro, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Alexandra Geese, Valentino Grant, Elisabetta Gualmini, Valerie Hayer, Niclas Herbst, Monika Hohlmeier, John Howarth, Mislav Kolakušić, Moritz Körner, Joachim Kuhs, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Hélène Laporte, Pierre Larrouturou, Margarida Marques, Siegfried Mureşan, Jan Olbrycht, Henrik Overgaard Nielsen, Jake Pugh, Karlo Ressler, Bogdan Rzońca, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Torvalds, Nils Ušakovs, Johan Van Overtveldt, Rainer Wieland, Angelika Winzig

Substitutes present for the final vote

Damian Boeselager, Herbert Dorfmann

 


 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

35

+

ECR

Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Bogdan Rzońca, Johan Van Overtveldt

ID

Anna Bonfrisco, Valentino Grant, Hélène Laporte

NI

Mislav Kolakušić

PPE

Lefteris Christoforou, Herbert Dorfmann, José Manuel Fernandes, Niclas Herbst, Monika Hohlmeier, Siegfried Mureşan, Jan Olbrycht, Karlo Ressler, Rainer Wieland, Angelika Winzig

RENEW

Clotilde Armand, Olivier Chastel, Valerie Hayer, Moritz Körner, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Torvalds

S&D

Robert Biedroń, Paolo De Castro, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Elisabetta Gualmini, John Howarth, Pierre Larrouturou, Margarida Marques, Nils Ušakovs

VERTS/ALES

Rasmus Andresen, Damian Boeselager, David Cormand, Alexandra Geese

 

1

-

ID

Joachim Kuhs

 

3

0

NI

Jonathan Bullock, Henrik Overgaard Nielsen, Jake Pugh

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention

 

 

[1] OJ L 311, 14.11.2002, p. 3.

[2] OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.

[3] OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.

[5] Decision (EU) 2019/420 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 March 2019 amending Decision No 1313/2013/EU on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism (OJ L 77I, 20.3.2019, p. 1.).

[7] OJ L 311, 14.11.2002, p. 3.

[8] OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.

[9] Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884).

 Date to be inserted by the Parliament before the publication in OJ.

Last updated: 11 September 2019Legal notice