In May and June 2016, the region of Niederbayern (Lower Bavaria) in Germany was affected by heavy spells of rainfall triggering rivers to burst their banks and flooding in several villages. The disaster caused damage to public infrastructure and buildings, private homes, businesses and farmland.
The proposed aid from the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) of €31.5 million is intended to help restore essential infrastructure, reimburse the cost of emergency measures and cover the costs of some of the clean-up operations.
Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Creţu said: "This financial aid will lend a helping hand to the German population affected by the widespread flooding of this spring; this is EU solidarity in action."
This proposed aid now has to be approved by the European Parliament and by the Council.
The EU Solidarity Fund was set up to support EU Member States and Accession Countries by offering financial support after natural disasters, either at national or regional level. The Fund was created in the wake of the severe floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002. It supplements Member States' public expenditure to finance essential emergency operations undertaken by the authorities. Examples include:
- Restoration to working order of essential infrastructure e.g. energy, water, transport, telecoms, health and education;
- Temporary accommodation and emergency services to meet the immediate needs of the population;
- Securing of prevention infrastructures such as dams and dykes;
- Measures to protect cultural heritage;
- Clean-up operations
The annual allocation available for the EU Solidarity Fund in 2016 is €552 million. Adding the remainder of the allocation from last year, the total amount of the Solidarity Fund available during 2016 is over €1 billion.
The financial contribution from the Fund is calculated based on the total direct damage resulting from a disaster in relation to the wealth of the affected Member State or region. This financial assistance may only be used for essential emergency and recovery operations.
Since the creation of the Fund in 2002, a total of €971.4 million has been granted to Germany in EUSF assistance.