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Parliamentary questions
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25 October 2018
Joint answer given by Mr Stylianides on behalf of the European Commission
Written questions: P-004164/18 , P-004169/18
Question references: P-004164/2018, P-004169/2018

The EU stands by Greece in these difficult times. Commissioner Stylianides visited the country in the hours following the disaster.

On 23 July 2018, Greece activated the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) to request aerial and ground forest fire fighting capacities. Nine States offered help through the Mechanism: Spain, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Portugal, Montenegro, Croatia, Italy, Romania and Malta. The following assistance was accepted by Greece and deployed:

Cyprus: one ground forest firefighting module
Italy: two Canadairs
Spain: two Canadairs
Romania: one firefighting plane and one logistics plane

In addition, Copernicus Emergency Management Service produced five satellite maps of affected areas.

In order to strengthen the UCPM, the Commission submitted a proposal to establish a dedicated reserve of civil protection capacities (‘rescEU’). The proposal also aims to reinforce the European Emergency Response Capacity via a higher EU co-financing of deployment costs. The proposal is currently under negotiations and the Commission is working hard to have a new system in place before the next wildfire season.

Besides, the EU Solidarity Fund may help cover the costs of emergency and recovery operations following natural disasters(1). The EU also supports prevention and restoration measures through dedicated structural(2), agricultural/rural development(3) and research funding(4).

Commission services are ready to explore with the competent national and regional authorities the possibility to revise the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme(s) relating to the affected areas to accommodate the necessary actions for restoration of public infrastructures and rejuvenation of local economies.

(1)Regulation (EU) No 661/2014.
(2)Regulations (EU) 1300/2013 and 1301/2013 enable support from the Cohesion Fund (CF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for actions related to risk prevention and management, including disaster resilience and management systems, which are consistent with a national or regional risk assessment; however, compensation for damages to private properties caused by natural disasters is not eligible.
(3)Regulation (EU) 1305/2013 provides support for prevention operations, which are consistent with the forest protection plan established by the Member States.
(4)Horizon 2020 research and innovation framework programme, LIFE programme.

Last updated: 25 October 2018Legal notice