Procedure : 2016/2988(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-1289/2016

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 30/11/2016 - 16
CRE 30/11/2016 - 16

Votes :

PV 01/12/2016 - 6.21
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1285/2016

further to Questions for Oral Answer B8-1812/2016, B8-1813/2016 and B8-1814/2016

pursuant to Rule 128(5) of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Italy after the earthquakes (2016/2988(RSP))

Rosa D’Amato, Laura Agea, Isabella Adinolfi, Daniela Aiuto, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Piernicola Pedicini on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Italy after the earthquakes (2016/2988(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Articles 174, 175 (third paragraph) and 212 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU) 2016/369 of 15 March 2016 on the provision of emergency support within the Union(1),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund(2) and to 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(3),

–  having regard to the Commission report entitled ‘The European Union Solidarity Fund – Annual Report 2014’ (COM(2015)0502),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 November 2007 on the regional impact of earthquakes(4),

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas after the devastating earthquake that hit central Italy on 24 August 2016, three more major quakes, together with a flurry of tremors, struck the central Italian regions, on 26 October with magnitudes of 5.5 and 6.1, and on 30 October with a magnitude of 6.5;

B.  whereas the most recent earthquake on 30 October was the strongest tremor to hit the country in more than three decades, involving the total flattening of entire villages, bringing large numbers of inhabitants of the affected areas to the brink of despair, and provoking various indirect forms of damage in the surrounding areas;

C.  whereas in the recent quakes more than 400 people are reported to have been injured and 290 to have died;

D.  whereas these devastating earthquakes are piling up in a ‘domino effect’ and will lead to 100 000 inhabitants being displaced;

E.  whereas the impact of the latest quakes has destroyed towns, seriously damaged local and regional infrastructure, ruined historical and cultural heritage, disrupted economic activities, and entailed multiple losses for the agriculture and tourism sectors, especially for microbusinesses and SMEs;

F.  whereas the territories concerned suffer from a deformation that extends over an area of about 130 square kilometres, with a maximum displacement of at least 70 centimetres;

G.  whereas sustainable reconstruction efforts need to be properly coordinated in order to remedy the economic and social losses, and whereas particular attention should also be paid to the invaluable Italian cultural heritage, promoting international and European projects aimed at protecting historical buildings and sites;

H.  whereas the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was set up under Regulation No 2012/2002 in response to the disastrous flooding that hit central Europe in the summer of 2002;

I.  whereas the EUSF, which is not covered by the EU budget, provides up to EUR 500 million (at 2011 prices) that can be made available each year to supplement public expenditure on emergency operations by the Member State(s) concerned;

J.  whereas the 2014 reform of the EUSF introduced the possibility for Member States to request advance payments, the granting of which is decided upon by the Commission, if sufficient resources are available; whereas, however, the amount of the advance cannot exceed 10 % of the anticipated total amount of the financial contribution from the EUSF and is capped at EUR 30 million;

K.  whereas the Member State affected must submit an application for assistance from the EUSF to the Commission no later than 12 weeks after the first effects of the disaster become clear; whereas the beneficiary state is responsible for using the grant and auditing the way it is spent, but the Commission may carry out on-the-spot checks on operations financed by the EUSF;

L.  whereas in Italy thousands of buildings have been found not to have been constructed in accordance with the standards stipulated in the national anti-seismic law of 1974, under which buildings must be constructed or renovated in such a way as to be earthquake-resistant; whereas, moreover, half of the housing stock has been built anew since then, and, as standards have changed over time, it is estimated that about 70 % of the existing housing stock in seismic areas is not earthquake-resistant;

M.  whereas, according to the Italian civil protection services, in Italy the areas considered ‘at high seismic risk’ contain 3 million inhabitants, while the wider area ‘at risk’ is much larger, with almost 20 million inhabitants;

1.  Expresses its deepest solidarity and empathy with all individuals and families in the territories affected by the earthquakes, and with the Italian national, regional and local authorities involved in relief efforts following the disaster;

2.  Stresses that the harsh weather conditions of the forthcoming winter season represent a major concern for the large numbers of displaced persons that needs to be addressed quickly and effectively in order to guarantee decent living conditions for those deprived of their dwelling;

3.  Appreciates the untiring efforts made by the rescue units, civil protection services, volunteers, and civil society organisations in the devastated areas in order to save lives and contain the damage;

4.  Expresses its concern over the large number of displaced persons exposed to the harsh weather conditions of the forthcoming winter season; calls on the Commission to offer all necessary help to the Italian authorities needed to guarantee decent living conditions for the people deprived of their dwellings;

5.  Recognises the special nature of the Mediterranean area, and calls on Member States to step up research with a view to preventing damage, managing crises and minimising the scale of the impact of disasters in conjunction with actions under Horizon 2020;

6.  Stresses the importance of the exchange of international best practices aimed at promoting direct prevention actions, which consist of the seismic upgrading of structures, in order to obtain an immediate reduction in the seismic risk of vulnerable buildings and infrastructures in high seismic hazard areas, as well as indirect actions, namely improving knowledge of local seismic hazards and the seismic resilience of urban systems;

7.  Takes note of the application presented for the European Solidarity Fund by the Italian Government, and asks the Commission to assess it promptly and mobilise support with a view to helping the Italian national and regional authorities involved in relief efforts following the disaster;

8.  Regrets, in this regard, that the EUSF is financed outside the EU budget, with a maximum allocation of EUR 500 million (at 2011 prices), thus falling short, in spite of some improvements in the last reform of 2014, of being a sound and flexible instrument as a means of showing solidarity, and of providing proper and rapid assistance to people affected by major natural disasters;

9.  Believes that necessary improvements to the EUSF regulation could include calling for mandatory updated national plans for disaster management, the introduction of a concrete action plan and the preparation of agreements on emergency contracts; underlines the importance of setting up new indicators that go beyond GDP, such as the Human Development Index or the Regional Social Progress Index, for the eligibility threshold in cases of regional natural disasters;

10.  Stresses the importance of the public procurement procedures followed by Member States in response to natural disasters with a view to identifying and disseminating best practice and lessons learned with regard to contracts in emergency situations;

11.  Urges the Commission to consider having sustainable reconstruction and any anti-seismic investments, including those cofinanced through the ESI funds and allocated to Thematic Objective 5 (‘prevention, promotion of climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management’), excluded from the calculation of national deficits in the framework of the Stability and Growth Pact;

12.  Stresses the importance of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism in fostering cooperation among national civil protection authorities across Europe in adverse situations and in minimising the effects of exceptional occurrences; calls on the Commission and the Member States to further simplify the procedures for the activation of the Mechanism in order to make it available rapidly and effectively in the immediate aftermath of a disaster;

13.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that all the available instruments within the cohesion and regional funds are effectively used for reconstruction activities and all other necessary actions in full cooperation with the Italian national and regional authorities; calls on the Commission to consider the possibility of using the European Fund for Rural Development to sustain the rural areas and agricultural activities that have been impacted by the earthquakes;

14.  Calls on the Italian Government and the Commission to consider amending the Italian national and regional operational programmes in order to better address the issues of Thematic Objective 5 (‘promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management’), in accordance with Article 30 of the Common Provisions Regulation;

15.  Takes note of the activation, on the request of the Italian Government, of the EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service, with the aim of providing satellite-based damage assessment for the affected areas; encourages cooperation between international research centres, and welcomes the use of synthetic aperture radar (SAR), which can evaluate and measure centimetre-level ground movements through clouds day and night, also for purposes of prevention and risk management;

16.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Government of Italy, and the regional and local authorities of the areas affected.


OJ L 70, 16.3.2016, p. 1


OJ L 311, 14.11.2002, p. 3


OJ L 189, 27.6.2014, p. 143


OJ C 282E, 6.11.2008, p. 269

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