Commission: Ready to activate Solidarity Fund for disaster-stricken areas

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“THE Commission is ready to mobilize the Social Solidarity Fund “for the affected areas of the EU. from the Natural Disaster summer, said the Commissioner for Cohesion, Eliza Ferreira, speaking at the Plenary Session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

“To ensure that the Solidarity Fund is adequately equipped to deal with the magnitude and frequency of disasters,” Ms Ferreira said, adding that according to the RES EPA, “climate change brings more extreme weather, stronger and more often and have a greater impact on European citizens. “

She expressed her condolences to the people who lost their lives and their lives this summer due to fires and floods in many parts of Europe, and then referred to the European Civil Protection Mechanism, through which aid was mobilized to Member States as a “response” practical solidarity.

Speaking about Greece, in fact, the commissioner said that during the catastrophic fires, aid was mobilized from 11 member states, by air means, vehicles and hundreds of firefighters.

At the same time, he stressed that the Commission is ready to mobilize the Social Solidarity Fund. Specifically, he noted that Cyprus has already requested the assistance of the Fund, while it is expected that other countries will do the same, as it takes 12 weeks to report the losses. He noted, however, that in recent years the number and scale of disasters have led to frequent calls for help from the Solidarity Fund.

And “this has limited our resources. The Commission, the Council and Parliament should consider all the alternatives at our disposal in order for the Solidarity Fund to be able to to continue to help those affected by the natural disasters, “he said.

Interventions of Greek MEPs

Besides, intervening in the discussion, the vice-president of EPP and MEP of N.D. Vangelis Meimarakis spoke about the effects of the natural disasters that particularly hit Greece this summer. Mr. Meimarakis stressed that Greece has been hit in recent years by unprecedented floods and fires, which have reduced millions of acres of forest ash and destroyed people’s property, expressing his support and solidarity to all victims and firefighters. the volunteers who fought the fires. As he characteristically stated, these extreme phenomena, as a result of climate change, are before us and cannot be tackled individually by the governments of the Member States, but a holistic and unified European policy is needed to prevent and deal with them immediately.

For his part, the MEP of KINAL Nikos Androulakis He stressed that this year the burned acres in Greece exceeded one million, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive restoration plan with development projects. “Due to climate change, dangerous weather will be stronger and more frequent,” he said. He also stressed that the mobilization of the European Civil Protection Mechanism helped reduce the consequences, while talking about the need for practical solidarity, with the immediate joint ordering of Canard aircraft, but also the need for prevention. Concluding, he stressed that the EU should set up a new Fund to deal with the remediation of natural disasters caused by climate change.

The SYRIZA MEP Petros Kokkalis argued that the structures and volume of the Solidarity Fund to deal with natural disasters should be increased and mobilized. “What is the fair transition that guarantees that no one will be left behind, that the energy transition will be guided by climate justice?” The MEP asked.

The same, he said, should apply to those whose lives are being destroyed by man-made climate disasters.

The KKE MEP, Lefteris Nikolaou-Alavanos, criticized the RESCEU mechanism, saying that it usually arrives after a tragedy and that the critical twenty-four hours on the battlefield are the people, who selflessly defend their lives and lives, as the understaffed government services are unable to respond. For the Solidarity Fund, he said that it is proven that it does not compensate the affected popular households. “The people are organized to fight for immediate 100% compensation to the victims, to cover the huge shortages of staff and infrastructure,” he said.

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