Procedure : 2014/2072(BUD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0073/2014

Texts tabled :

A8-0073/2014

Debates :

Votes :

PV 17/12/2014 - 10.6
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2014)0091

REPORT     
PDF 215kWORD 84k
15.12.2014
PE 539.615v03-00 A8-0073/2014

on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund, in accordance with point 11 of 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 (floods in Italy, earthquake in Greece, ice in Slovenia and ice and floods in Croatia)

(COM(2014)0565 – C8‑0137/2014 – 2014/2072(BUD))

Committee on Budgets

Rapporteur: Patricija Šulin

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
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

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, in accordance with point 11 of 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 (floods in Italy, earthquake in Greece, ice in Slovenia and ice and floods in Croatia)

(COM(2014)0565 – C8‑0137/2014 – 2014/2072(BUD))

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0565 – C8‑0137/2014),

–       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 Joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014,

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

–       having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0073/2014),

1.      Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

2.      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;

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

(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.


ANNEX: DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund

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(1), 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(2), and in particular point 11 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

Whereas:

(1)         The European Union has created a European Union Solidarity Fund (the "Fund") to show solidarity with the population of regions struck by disasters.

(2)         Article 10 of Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 (3) allows the mobilisation of the Fund within the annual ceiling of EUR 500 million (2011 prices).

(3)         Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 contains the provisions whereby the Fund may be mobilised.

(4)         Italy has submitted an application to mobilise the Fund, concerning floods.

(5)         Greece has submitted an application to mobilise the Fund, concerning an earthquake.

(6)         Slovenia has submitted an application to mobilise the Fund, concerning ice storms.

(7)         Croatia has submitted an application to mobilise the Fund, concerning ice storms followed by flooding.

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

Article 1

For the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014, the European Union Solidarity Fund shall be mobilised to provide the sum of EUR 46 998 528 in commitment appropriations.

For the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, the European Union Solidarity Fund shall be mobilised to provide the sum of EUR 46 998 528 in payment appropriations.

Article 2

This Decision shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Done at

For the European Parliament                      For the Council

The President                                                The President

(1)

              OJ L 311, 14.11.2002, p. 3.

(2)

              OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.

(3)

             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).


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The Commission proposes to mobilise the European Solidarity Fund in favour of floods in Italy (Sardinia) during November 2013, an earthquake in Greece (Kefalonia), ice storms in Slovenia, and the same ice storms, followed by floods in Croatia, at the end of January / beginning February 2014 on the basis of point 11 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013.

Different types of natural disasters (floods, earthquakes and ice storms) have caused considerable damages to the applicant EU Member States, while Italy and Greece were affected by non-related, different types of disasters, one of the worst winter blizzards in Europe damaged several countries, with particularly damaging effects to Slovenia and Croatia.

While on 28 June 2014 Regulation (EU) No 661/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund entered into force, substantive rules cannot be applied retroactively. The Commission has therefore carried out thorough examinations of the applications in accordance with the original provisions of Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund and in particular with Articles 2, 3 and 4 thereof.

Sardinia (Italy) was affected by extreme rainfall on 18 and 19 November 2013 that caused many rivers to burst their banks and gave rise to widespread floods. Kefalonia (Grece) was affected by a heavy earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale, followed by dozens of severe aftershocks, northeast of the island, between 26 January 2014 and 3 February 2014, leaving 3 000 people homeless and several casualties.

The Italian authorities estimated total direct damage at EUR 652 418 691 which is below the major disaster threshold of EUR 3,8 billion applicable to Italy in 2014 (i.e. EUR 3 billion in 2002 prices); the Greek authorities estimated total direct damage at EUR 147 332 790 which is below the major disaster threshold of EUR 1,2 billion applicable to Greece in 2014 (i.e. 0,6 % of GNI based on 2012 data). Therefore neither of those disasters it does not qualify as a "major natural disaster" according to the EUSF Regulation.

As total direct damage remains below the major disaster threshold for activating the Solidarity Fund the application was examined on the basis of the criteria for "extraordinary regional disasters” as laid down in Article 2(2), last subparagraph, of Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 setting out the conditions for mobilising the Solidarity Fund “under exceptional circumstances”. Under these criteria, a region can exceptionally benefit from assistance from the Fund where that region has been affected by an extraordinary disaster, mainly a natural one, affecting the major part of its population, with serious and lasting repercussions on living conditions and the economic stability of the region. The European Commission recognises the good conditions to qualify the two previous disasters as a "extraordinary regional disasters”.

Slovenia was affected by some of the worst winter blizzards for decades that hit parts of Europe, affecting several countries. Slovenia was affected mostly between 30 January and 27 February 2014, with almost half of the nation's forests been damaged by ice, while one in four homes was left without power, as heavy snow brought down electricity trees and lines. Croatia was affected by the same weather phenomenon which led Slovenia to apply for EU Solidarity Fund. Particularly, the northwest regions and part of the northern Adriatic were affected. In addition, as of 12 February, the melting ice and snow resulted in flooding which caused additional damage to important public basic infrastructures and private and public property.

The Slovene authorities estimated total direct damage at EUR 428 733 722. This amount represents 1,23 % of Slovenia's GNI and exceeds the threshold for mobilising the Solidarity Fund of EUR 209,6 million applicable to Slovenia in 2014 (i.e. 0,6 % of GNI based on 2012 data); the Croatian authorities estimated total direct damage at EUR 291 904 630. This amount represents 0,69 % of Croatia's GNI and exceeds the threshold for mobilising the Solidarity Fund of EUR 254,2 million applicable to Croatia in 2014 (i.e. 0,6 % of GNI based on 2012 data). As the estimated total direct damage for both exceeds the threshold the disaster qualifies as a “major natural disaster”. Total direct damage is the basis for the calculation of the amount of financial assistance. The financial assistance may only be used for essential emergency operations as defined in Article 3 of the Regulation.

After verifying that this application complies with the eligibility criteria of Council regulation (EC) N° 2012/2002 the Commission proposed to mobilise the EU solidarity Fund for a total amount of EUR 46 998 528.

The methodology for calculating Solidarity Fund aid was set out in the 2002-2003 Annual Report on the Solidarity Fund and accepted by the Council and the European Parliament.

It is proposed to apply the same percentages and to grant the following aid amounts:

Disaster

Direct damage

(EUR)

Threshold(million EUR)

 

Amount based on 2,5 %

(EUR)

Amount based on 6 %

 

(EUR)

Total amount ofaid proposed

 

(EUR)

Italy flooding

652 418 691

3 752,330

16 310 467

~

16 310 467

Greece earthquake

147 332 790

1 168,231

3 683 320

~

3 683 320

Slovenia ice / storm

428 733 722

209,587

5 239 675

13 148 803

18 388 478

Croatia ice /flooding

291 904 630

254,229

6 355 725

2 260 538

8 616 263

TOTAL

46 998 528

As this is the first mobilisation decision of 2014, the total amount of aid proposed above complies with the ceiling provisions of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) regulation of EUR 530,6 million (EUR 500 million in 2011 prices) and it is also ensured that the required one quarter of this amount will be available on 1st October 2014 in order to cover needs arising until the end of the year.

In parallel to the proposal to mobilise the Solidarity Fund the Commission has presented a draft amending budget (DAB No 5/2014 of 08/09/2014.) in order to enter in the 2014 budget the corresponding commitment as foreseen in point 26 of the IIA and the corresponding payment appropriations are shifted into 2015 budget. The position of the Council on DAB No 5/2014, concerning the financing of this decision, modifies the initial proposal of the Commission. The position of the Parliament will be set out when adopting its position on DAB No 5/2014.

According to point 26 of the IIA of 17 May 2006, when presenting this proposal to deploy the Fund, the Commission initiates the simplified trilogue procedure in view of securing the agreement of the two arms of the Budgetary Authority on the need to use the Fund and the amount required.

According to an internal agreement with the Committee on Regional Development Committee (REGI), this committee should be associated to the process, in order to provide constructive support and contribution to the implementation of the EU Solidarity Fund. Following the assessment of the requests, the REGI committee of the European Parliament gave their views on the mobilisation of the Fund, as expressed in the letter of opinion attached to the present report.

The Rapporteur recommends the approval of the Commission proposal for a decision annexed to this report.


ANNEX – LETTER FROM THE COMMITTEE ON REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Mr Jean ARTHUIS

Chairman

Committee on Budgets

European Parliament

ASP 09G2051047 Brussels

Dear Mr. Arthuis,

Subject:           Mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund in favour of Italy, Greece, Slovenia and Croatia

The European Commission has transmitted to the European Parliament its proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund (COM(2014)0565), on the basis of applications to mobilise the Fund submitted by Italy, Greece, Slovenia and Croatia. The applications submitted refer to floods which occurred in Sardinia (Italy) in November 2013, an earthquake in Kefalonia (Greece) in January 2014, and to ice storms which occurred in January and February 2014 both in Slovenia and in Croatia, followed by floods in Croatia.

The Commission proposes the mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund, estimating the damage caused by each disaster and per country as follows:

Disaster

Direct damage

(EUR)

Threshold(million EUR)

 

Amount based on 2,5 %

(EUR)

Amount based on 6 %

 

(EUR)

Total amount ofaid proposed

 

(EUR)

Italy flooding

652 418 691

3 752,330

16 310 467

~

16 310 467

Greece earthquake

147 332 790

1 168,231

3 683 320

~

3 683 320

Slovenia ice / storm

428 733 722

209,587

5 239 675

13 148 803

18 388 478

Croatia ice /flooding

291 904 630

254,229

6 355 725

2 260 538

8 616 263

TOTAL

46 998 528

The Commission further proposes a Draft Amending Budget (DAB) No 5 for the year 2014 (COM(2014)0564) in order to cover the above-mentioned proposed mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund for the amount of EUR 46 998 528, by entering the corresponding appropriations into budget 2014 on budget item 13 06 01, both in commitment and in payment appropriations.

The REGI Committee coordinators discussed these proposals in the course of their meeting on 22 September 2014. They have asked me to write to you stating that this Committee has no objection to the mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund, and supports the corresponding DAB No 5 as proposed by the Commission.

Yours sincerely,

Iskra MIHAYLOVA


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

15.12.2014

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

37

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Jean Arthuis, Richard Ashworth, Reimer Böge, Lefteris Christoforou, Jean-Paul Denanot, Gérard Deprez, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Jens Geier, Iris Hoffmann, Monika Hohlmeier, Bernd Kölmel, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Vladimír Maňka, Sophie Montel, Clare Moody, Siegfried Mureşan, Victor Negrescu, Jan Olbrycht, Younous Omarjee, Pina Picierno, Paul Rübig, Petri Sarvamaa, Patricija Šulin, Eleftherios Synadinos, Isabelle Thomas, Inese Vaidere, Marco Valli, Monika Vana, Daniele Viotti, Marco Zanni

Substitutes present for the final vote

Tamás Deutsch, Pablo Echenique, Ernest Maragall, Andrej Plenković, Sergei Stanishev, Nils Torvalds

Legal notice - Privacy policy