The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was set up to respond to major natural disasters and express European solidarity to disaster-stricken regions within Europe. The Fund was created as a reaction to the severe floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002. Since then, it has been used for 67 disasters covering a range of different catastrophic events including floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought. 24 different European countries have been supported so far for an amount of over 3.7 billion €. Click for a list of all interventions
How to apply?
Any application has to be received by the Commission within 12 weeks of the date of the first damage caused by the disaster.
It is strongly recommended that the body responsible for preparing an application establishes early direct contact with the service in charge in DG Regional Policy who can offer a range of advice that will help to speed up the application procedure as much as possible.
This page is updated regularly, please download the latest version of the application form.
- Application form (Last update: 02-02-2015)
- Guidance note (Last update: 02-02-2015)
- Thresholds for major disasters
- Thresholds for regional disasters
- How to determine the threshold for disasters affecting several regions (based on weighted average GDP)
- How much money can you expect?
The Commission assesses the application and - if the application is accepted - proposes an amount of aid to the European Parliament and the Council who have to approve it before it can be paid out. Once the appropriations become available in the EU budget the Commission adopts a decision awarding the aid to the affected State following which the aid is paid out immediately and in a single instalment. Once the aid is paid out, the affected State is responsible for the implementation including the selection of operations and their audit and control. Emergency measures may be financed retroactively from day one of the disaster.
It is worth noting that the EUSF is not a rapid response instrument for dealing with the effects of a natural disaster. Financial aid can only be granted to the applying State following an application and budgetary process which can take several months to complete.