News

Helping the victims of earthquakes in Italy

30.11.2016 - 15:35
Earthquake in Amatrice

After the first occurrence on 24 August, three more major earthquakes, together with a flurry of tremors, struck the central Italian regions in October. The last was the strongest Italy felt since Irpinia in 1980.

Despite the relentless efforts made by the rescue units, civil protection forces, volunteers, civil society organisations and local, regional and national authorities, the cataclysm crushed entire villages, killing 290 inhabitants, injuring 400 and displacing 100,000.

The survivors of the devastating earthquakes are now exposed to the harsh winter we are heading into and are at the mercy of unpredictable hydrogeological effects, such as floods and landslides, that could occur in the 130 square kilometres of affected area.

EU action must be quick and effective

In the wake of the destruction, serious economic and social hardships were triggered and Italy has already submitted an application for European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) assistance.

Created as a reaction to the severe floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002, the EUSF was set up to respond to major natural disasters and channel European solidarity to disaster-stricken regions within Europe. It has been used 72 times so far, including for floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought, in 24 different European countries, mobilising over €3.8 billion.

We need to stop victims feeling abandoned between emergency interventions and the arrival of EUSF funds Salvatore Cicu

Now the Commission must undertake all necessary measures to analyse EUSF assistance requests promptly and to ensure a swift mobilisation of the fund. Advance payments must made available as soon as possible to respond to the most urgent demands.

“We need to stop victims feeling abandoned between emergency interventions and the arrival of EUSF funds. This is why I asked the European Commission to take into account the possibility of increasing the advance payments threshold from 10% to 15%, as well as shortening deadlines for the processing of applications from six to four weeks,” stated Salvatore Cicu, an Italian EPP Group MEP and Rapporteur on an assessment of the EU Solidarity Fund.

Combining EU programmes to help

Creating synergies between all available EU instruments is of paramount importance, ensuring that resources are used effectively for reconstruction activities and all other necessary actions

Other EU instruments, such as the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) or the Civil Protection Mechanism and Financial Instrument, may be used to strengthen preventive measures to address earthquakes and rehabilitation measures. The European Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) can also be used to sustain rural areas and agricultural activities that have been impacted by the earthquakes.

Creating synergies between all available EU instruments is of paramount importance, ensuring that resources are used effectively for reconstruction activities and all other necessary actions, in full cooperation with the Italian national and regional authorities.

“The EU must act quickly and effectively in order to guarantee decent living conditions to the Italians deprived of their homes,” concluded Salvatore Cicu MEP.

Latest

Combines harvesting wheat
20.09.2018 - 10:37

Pesticides: science mustn't be guided by politics

In a draft Report released today, the EPP Group insists on a science-based approach towards pesticide authorisation. "We need to further...
pharmacy
13.09.2018 - 12:40

Dual Quality Products: what you see is what you should get

The European Parliament today proposed concrete measures to solve the problem of quality differences between products sold under the same brand and...
Copyright law, defending consumers, State of the Union, Future of Europe
13.09.2018 - 12:30

Copyright law, defending consumers, State of the Union, Future of Europe

The European Parliament has approved legislation to help online content creators earn their fair share through a stronger EU copyright law. It also...
Business woman working on desk
12.09.2018 - 13:31

EPP Group leads EP in protection of independent journalism

The European Parliament stands behind journalists, creators, authors, publishers and legitimate copyright right-holders. This is the outcome of today...

Highlights of the week

24.09.2018 - 28.09.2018
Financial Pie Chart - Euro

Cohesion Policy after 2020

The EPP Group will hold a public hearing on 'Cohesion Policy post-2020: Investments and solidarity in the context of the new EU budget', on...
word budget

2019 EU Budget Committee vote

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Budgets Committee will vote on the 2019 EU Budget, ahead of the vote scheduled for the October II plenary session. Jos...
A heap of old collectors and vintage coins

Stopping illegal trafficking of cultural goods

The black market of antiquities and cultural goods constitutes one of the most persistent illegal trades in the world. For the moment, there is no EU...