Procedure : 2016/2988(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-1296/2016

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 :


PDF 170kWORD 47k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1285/2016

further to Questions for Oral Answer B8-1812/2016, B8-1813/2016 and B8‑14/2016

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

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

Curzio Maltese, Eleonora Forenza, Barbara Spinelli, Sofia Sakorafa, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Marisa Matias, João Ferreira, João Pimenta Lopes, Miguel Viegas, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Stelios Kouloglou, Kostas Chrysogonos, Patrick Le Hyaric, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Estefanía Torres Martínez, Tania González Peñas, Xabier Benito Ziluaga on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

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

The European Parliament,

–  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 1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid(2),

–  having regard 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 Directive 2008/99/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on the protection of the environment through criminal law(4),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 11 April 2011 on further developing risk assessment for disaster management within the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 28 November 2008 calling for civil protection capabilities to be enhanced by a European mutual assistance system building on the civil protection modular approach,

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 June 2008 on stepping up the Union’s disaster response capacity(5),

–  having regard to the questions to the Commission on the situation in Italy after the earthquakes (O-000139/2016 – B8-1812/2016, O-000140/2016 – B8-1813/2016 and O‑000141/2016 – B8-1814/2016),

–  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 quakes and aftershocks have continued to batter central Italy over the past months; whereas the tremor that shook Italy on 30 October was the most powerful earthquake to hit the country since 1980;

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

D.  whereas the devastating earthquakes could accumulate in a ‘domino effect’ and lead to 100 000 displaced residents;

E.  whereas the impact of the latest quakes has destroyed towns, seriously damaged local and regional infrastructure, ruined historical and cultural heritage, and done harm to economic activities, especially those of SMEs, to agriculture and to touristic and gastronomic potential;

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, and unpredictable hydrogeological effects could lead, in severe winter weather conditions, to further natural catastrophes such as floods and landslips and cumulative damage;

G.  whereas sustainable reconstruction efforts need to be properly coordinated in order to remedy the economic and social losses;

H.  whereas some territories in the European Union are more vulnerable and at high seismic risk; whereas they may even be exposed to repeated natural catastrophes of various kinds, some of them less than a year apart, recent cases having occurred in Italy, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus;

I.  whereas prevention should constitute an increasingly important stage in disaster management and be given greater social importance;

J.  whereas disaster prevention measures in force have been shown to be lacking, and Parliament’s previous proposals have not yet been fully implemented, which has thus hindered the implementation of a consolidated strategy for the prevention of natural and man-made disasters at EU level;

K.  whereas damage caused by natural and man-made disasters could largely often be prevented; whereas EU policies must, furthermore, ensure consistent incentives for national, regional and local authorities to develop, fund and implement more efficient prevention and conservation policies;

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

2.  Appreciates the unremitting efforts of the rescue units, civil protection workers, volunteers, civil society organisations, and local, regional and national authorities to save lives and contain the damage in the devastated areas;

3.  Underlines the serious economic effects of the successive earthquakes and the destruction left in their wake;

4.  Notes the solidarity expressed by other Member States, European regions and international players in the form of mutual assistance in emergency situations;

5.  Highlights the prediction problems associated with earthquake systems and the high seismicity of South East Europe; notes with concern that thousands of people have died and hundreds of thousands been left homeless in the past 15 years as a result of destructive earthquakes affecting Europe;

6.  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 to allow them to guarantee decent living conditions for the people deprived of their homes;

7.  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;

8.  Calls on the Commission to undertake all necessary measures to allow and provide for rapid financing at as high a level as possible from the European Union Solidarity Fund; highlights the role and the enhanced responsibility of regional and local authorities in managing and distributing funds, while supporting renewed sustainable economic growth and social cohesion in their territories;

9.  Asks the Commission to consider extending the existing calculation of the Solidarity Fund, which is currently based on the effects of damage caused by a single catastrophic event, to a cumulative computation of the damage caused by several natural catastrophes in the same region in a year;

10.  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;

11.  Points out that cohesion policy is an essential tool in natural disaster risk prevention; considers that it must be possible for the various funds and instruments to operate flexibly and in a coordinated manner in order to improve the functioning and effectiveness of that policy; stresses that risk prevention must also dovetail with other policies pursued in the field of prevention, in order to prevent the fragmentation of measures and increase their effectiveness and added value;

12.  Stresses the urgent need for a plan on public investment in prevention policies and for an anti-seismic retrofitting plan in the areas at highest seismic and hydrogeological risk; considers that such expenses should be excluded from the calculation of the deficit threshold of the Member State concerned;

13.  Invites the Commission to encourage the exchange of good practices between Member States in preventing disasters, and calls on the Member States to ensure that regional authorities undergo disaster management training;

14.  Highlights the importance of viewing prevention from a cross-cutting perspective, incorporating it into the relevant sectoral policies in order to promote balanced land occupation and cohesive economic and social development that is in tune with nature;

15.  Emphasises the importance of public research and development (R&D) in preventing and managing disasters, and calls for increased coordination and cooperation among the R&D institutions of Member States, especially those facing similar risks; calls for enhanced early warning systems in Member States and the creation and strengthening of links between the various early warning systems; recommends that the Commission take due note of these needs and ensure adequate funding;

16.  Stresses the need to prepare the healthcare systems of the Member States in terms of human resource structure, good practice and risk awareness, so that they are able to cope with disaster situations;

17.  Underlines the importance of having a comprehensive collection of data and information on the risks and costs of disasters and of sharing them at EU level, with a view to carrying out comparative studies and determining the likely cross-border impact of the disasters, thus making it possible for Member States to pool information on national civil capabilities and medical resources, and stresses that we should use and develop existing structures such as the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) rather than build up new ones;

18.  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 163, 2.7.1996, p. 1.


OJ L 189, 27.6.2014, p. 143.


OJ L 328, 6.12.2008, p. 28.


OJ C 286 E, 27.11.2009, p. 15.

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