Today, the Budgets Committee approved the biggest-ever mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to provide financial assistance to Italy to mitigate damages from earthquakes that hit the country between August 2016 and January 2017.
"This vote sends a strong signal from the European Parliament to Italy, a signal of concrete help: €1.2 billion of EU funds to support reconstruction works after the earthquakes that hit the regions of Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche and Umbria,” said the rapporteur Giovanni La Via MEP.
Between end of August 2016 and mid-January 2017, a series of strong earthquakes led to 333 casualties, 30.000 people in need of assistance, significant damage to the infrastructure, businesses and living conditions of the affected population in Central Italy.
“This sizeable amount of money, that represents the highest ever mobilisation of the EUSF, will be used to finance specific interventions, i.e. providing temporary accommodation for people, securing preventive infrastructure and supporting measures of protection of cultural heritage," concluded La Via.
The EPP Group fully supports the decision as a strong sign of the EU’s solidarity with its citizens and regions hit by natural disasters.
The EUSF was created as a reaction to the severe floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002. Since then, it has been used 76 times in 24 different Member States covering a range of different catastrophic events including floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought.
A final vote on the release of assistance funds to Italy is expected to take place in the September plenary session in Strasbourg.