Future of European Solidarity Fund

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Future of European Solidarity Fund

Key points:

The EESC agrees with all practical adjustments that the Commission proposes for the EUSF Regulation in order to make the Fund function in a more business-like manner, and for it to be less bureaucratic and less time-consuming for its recipients.

EESC wishes to point to new provisions in the TFEU, notably in its Articles 4, 174 and 222, which highlight a shared responsibility of the Union and MS to meet natural and terrorist "disasters" anywhere in the Union. These provisions demonstrate that in very special circumstances the EU is considered to be not only a community of socio-economic interests, but also a community of common destiny. This was, by the way, also the driving motivation when the EUSF was created in 2002, when massive flooding by rivers occurred in several MS.

The EESC insists on the desirability of enhancing the visibility of the Unions co-commitment when financial support is given by the EU in case of a disaster. At the moment, procedures are purely administrative. EU payments are often made months after the disaster took place, underlining the technical and even anonymous nature of the procedure. The outcome currently is quite the opposite of expressing a common empathy which the EESC would like to see being emphasised more strongly.

The EESC offers for consideration the suggestion to include funding of the EUSF directly in the European Union's budget as a practical way of speeding up payments and ensuring a much higher degree of visibility for its activities.