Nearly €300 million in EU aid after 2018 floods in Austria, Italy, Romania
- Most of the aid, €277.2 million, goes to Italy
- MEPs also approve a €100 million boost for research and youth mobility programmes
On Tuesday, Budgets Committee Members approved €293.5 million in EU Solidarity Fund aid following extreme weather events in Austria, Italy and Romania in 2018.
The €293.5 million in aid from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) breaks down as follows: €277.2 million for Italy following heavy rains, strong winds, floods and landslides in the autumn of 2018, €8.1 million for Austria following the same meteorological events and €8.2 million for the North East region in Romania after the summer 2018 floods. This was adopted by 35 votes in favour, one against and three abstentions.
MEPs boost support for EU research and Erasmus
MEPs also approved, by 31 votes in favour, 7 against and one abstention, a €100 million boost to the EU’s flagship programmes Horizon 2020 (€80 million for research funding) and Erasmus+ (€20 million for youth mobility) as decided by the European Parliament and the Council in their agreement on the 2019 EU budget in December 2018.
In another vote, the Members of the Committee on Budgets agreed by 32 votes in favour, 4 against and one abstention to return a €1.8 billion budget reflow from 2018 to the EU member states, through a decrease in the countries’ contributions to the EU budget. This is an annual exercise, the surplus usually stemming from default interest and fines received by the Commission, as well as under-implementation of EU programmes.
All draft reports still need to be approved by Parliament as a whole, during the 16-19 September plenary session in Strasbourg, and by the Council of Ministers.