EU Solidarity Fund: Commission proposes €279 million for Portugal, Spain, Italy and Austria

Today, the European Commission is proposing €279 million in financial support for Portugal, Spain, Italy and Austria, to provide relief to the population of several regions in these four countries hit by natural disasters in 2019. This funding comes on top of the €800 million for 2020 available under the EU Solidarity Fund.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “We are passing through a period when European solidarity is more important than ever. The EU Solidarity Fund is one of its most concrete expressions. While we are focused on getting us as safely as possible through the coronavirus pandemic, we continue to show solidarity to those who have been hit by other disasters, such as natural disasters that occurred last year. Today’s package will provide the regions affected with much needed funding.”

The aid package is divided as follows:

€211.7 million for Italy, which was affected by extreme weather events from north to south in late October and November 2019, causing severe damage from flooding and landslides and culminating in the flooding of Venice.
€56.7 million for Spain after the floods in the regions of Valencia, Murcia, Castilla-La Mancha and Andalucía in September 2019. Spain received €5.6 million in an advanced payment.
€8.2 million for Portugal following the severe damage that Hurricane Lorenzo inflicted on public and private infrastructures and on the daily lives of people, businesses and institutions in October 2019. Portugal already received €821 thousand in an advanced payment.
€2.3 million for Austria following the extreme weather events of November 2019. The south-western parts of Austria suffered from severe flooding, in particular in Carinthia and Eastern Tyrol.
Next steps

The European Parliament and the Council need to approve today’s proposal for EU Solidarity Fund assistance to Portugal, Spain, Italy and Austria. Once the Commission’s proposal is approved, the financial aid can be paid out.