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21 July 2017

Major interpellation for written answer with debate G-000009/2017

to the Commission

Rule 130b

Nicola Caputo, Fernando Ruas, Ivan Jakovčić, Eric Andrieu, Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Ana Gomes, Renata Briano, Simona Bonafè, Ricardo Serrão Santos, Gilles Pargneaux, Pina Picierno, Ivica Tolić, Aldo Patriciello, Biljana Borzan, Claudia Țapardel, Dubravka Šuica, Brando Benifei, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Alberto Cirio, Liliana Rodrigues, Barbara Spinelli, Andrea Cozzolino, Michela Giuffrida, Tonino Picula, Damiano Zoffoli, Daniele Viotti, Isabella De Monte, Martin Häusling, Monica Macovei, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Željana Zovko, Merja Kyllönen, Igor Šoltes, Luigi Morgano, Silvia Costa, Elena Gentile, Alessandra Mussolini, Momchil Nekov, Salvatore Domenico Pogliese, Peter Kouroumbashev, Stefano Maullu, Marijana Petir, Franz Obermayr, Tibor Szanyi, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Stelios Kouloglou, Viorica Dăncilă, Eleonora Forenza, Curzio Maltese, Piernicola Pedicini, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Barbara Kappel, Enrique Guerrero Salom

  Subject:  Fires in the European Union this summer

In early summer 2017 the EU suffered a spate of devastating fires, notably in Italy, Portugal, Croatia, France, Spain and Greece, resulting in deaths and large-scale material damage.

Member States, in particular the Cohesion Fund beneficiaries, often find it difficult to tackle fires on such a scale by themselves, and therefore require Community solidarity and assistance.

Moreover, as highlighted in a European Court of Auditors report of 24 February 2015[1], the EU funding for preventing forest fires and restoring forests damaged by natural disasters and fire is not sufficiently well managed.

There is no specific European legislation to tackle fires and drought.

Therefore, does the Commission intend to:

  mobilise the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) and apply it flexibly in order to tackle the serious damage caused by fires?

  launch European intervention mechanisms by creating the appropriate legal and budgetary instruments, in particular via a Community body for the protection of forests?

  submit specific proposals for directives to combat fires and drought in the EU, such as agricultural aids for the establishment and maintenance of firebreaks, in order to achieve better coordination of Member States policies on the matter and to make the best use of the Community instruments available?

[1]   Special report No 24/2014 entitled ‘Is EU support for preventing and restoring damage to forests caused by fire and natural disasters well managed?’

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