15/10/2013 – "European Union Solidarity Fund" - stakeholder consultation by Rapporteur general Mr Pavel BRANDA (CZ/ECR – COTER)

Location: Committee of the Regions, Brussels

Contact person
For more information, please contact the CoR team:
For the COTER Commission secretariat: Mr Gordon Modro, Tel: +32 2 282 2434

For stakeholder relations: Mr Peter Verlinden, Tel: +32 2 282 2170

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is drafting an opinion on European Commission's proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund (COM(2013) 522 final).

The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was created in 2002 in order to enable the European Union to respond to major natural disasters, such as earthquakes, forest fires, storms and floods, inside the EU and in accession countries. It provides financial assistance to disaster-stricken States, in order to help them to cope with the restoration of destroyed or damaged infrastructure, the provision of temporary accommodation and emergency services for the affected population, the securing of preventive infrastructure, the protection of cultural heritage, as well as the cleaning up of disaster-stricken areas. In principle, assistance from the Fund is limited to the financing of emergency operations carried out by the public authorities. Damage suffered by private individuals or losses of income cannot be covered by the Fund.

The European Commission has adopted on 25 July 2013 a proposal to amend the existing EUSF regulation, which is intended to improve the functioning of the EUSF instrument by simplifying the existing rules so that aid can be paid out more rapidly in the future, including the possibility of advance payments. It should further clarify the rules for eligibility, in particular for regional disasters, and encourage Member States to put disaster prevention and risk management strategies higher on the agenda.

Cities and regions can be heavily affected by natural disasters. Moreover, the legislative proposal will inter alia change the criteria for the mobilisation of the EUSF in case of extraordinary regional disasters. The dossier is therefore of high relevance for local and regional authorities.

The rapporteur general on the opinion, Mr Pavel BRANDA (CZ/ECR), Deputy mayor of Rádlo, together with his expert, Mr Lukáš CHMEL, would be happy to meet with representatives of local and regional associations and other stakeholders for a consultation and an exchange of views on the relevant topic of this opinion.
The consultation will take place on:

Tuesday 15 October 2013 between 10.30 a.m. and 12.30
in the Committee of the Regions building
(Rue Belliard 99-101, B-1040 Brussels)
Room JDE 53

The rapporteur would be very keen to hear your views during the meeting. After a short introduction by the rapporteur, stakeholders will be invited to exchange views with the rapporteur
In addition, if you have any position papers relevant to the subject, you are welcome to send them to the CoR team by e‑mail.

The meeting will be held in Czech with simultaneous interpreting, allowing you to speak in English and French as well. Please note that the rapporteur's mother tongue is Czech.

You can already register to participate in this debate to shape the rapporteur's views. For practical reasons, you are kindly asked to register your participation before 1.00 p.m. on Monday, 14 October 2013 via the following link.