EU to give aid to four countries following 2019 disasters

European Union – Portugal/Spain/Italy/Austria – The Council of the European Union approves €279 million in aid for Portugal, Spain, Italy and Austria following a series of disasters – Communiqué issued by the Council of the European Union¹

Brussels, 13 May 2020

Today EU ambassadors endorsed a Commission proposal to provide €279 million in disaster relief aid to Portugal, Spain, Italy and Austria. The money will be used to repair damage inflicted by the major natural disasters that hit these four member states in 2019.

“In addition to the COVID-19 crisis, several regions across the EU continue to suffer from the economic impact of natural disasters that struck last year. Today’s decision to provide disaster relief aid is a further concrete example of European solidarity in action,” said Zdravko Marić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Croatia.

The aid will be distributed as follows:

-  €211.7 million for Italy following the extreme weather events across the country in autumn 2019,

-  €56.7 million for Spain after the floods of September 2019 that hit the regions of Valencia, Murcia, Castilla-La Mancha and Andalucía,

-  €8.2 million for Portugal following Hurricane Lorenzo that passed through the Azores in October 2019,

-  €2.3 million for Austria following the severe flooding that affected the regions of Carinthia and Eastern Tyrol in November 2019.

The money will be channelled through the EU solidarity fund, which provides grants to EU member states and candidate countries struck by major natural disasters.

In parallel, EU ambassadors also endorsed draft amending budget No.4 to enter the necessary appropriations in the 2020 EU budget, both in commitments and payments.

The financial aid will be paid out once both proposals have been adopted by the European Parliament and the Council./.

¹Source of English text: European Council website.

Published on 14/05/2020

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