Answer to Written Question: Problems in the aftermath of the Medea weather system

(Source: European Parliament)



Answer given by Ms Ferreira

on behalf of the European Commission


1. According to the legislation in place, the EU Solidarity Fund can be mobilised following an application from a Member State demonstrating that the total direct damage exceeds either 0.6% of its gross national income or 1.5% of the average gross domestic product of the affected regions[1].

2. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) facilitates cooperation between Member States to address large-scale emergencies. Upon request, the Commission, through the UCPM coordinates the cooperation between the Member States, provides financial support, deploys rescEU assets and co-finances projects that support Member States’ efforts in the field of disaster preparedness and prevention.

As regards forest fires, upon request from Greece in August 2019, aerial rescEU assets were mobilised to tackle forest fires on the island of Evia.

3. The EU energy legislation requires Member States to ensure appropriate safeguards to protect vulnerable customers and respond to energy poverty. These may include targeted social and energy efficiency measures and reduced fuel taxes complying with Directive 2003/96/EC[2], which sets EU-harmonised minimum levels of excise duties for energy products and electricity[3].

The Commission’s Renovation Wave[4] protects the right for affordable housing, in particular for vulnerable people and is accompanied by a Recommendation on energy poverty[5].

To improve the energy performance of existing buildings and combat energy poverty in Greece, financial schemes have been developed[6] which include specific social criteria, favouring lower-income citizens, considering the number of dependent children, scheme of higher grants provided if the property is located in a lignite area.

[1] Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund (OJ L 311, 14.11.2002, p. 3) as amended by Regulation (EU) No 661/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council of 15 May 2014 (OJ L 189, 27.6.2014, p. 143) and by Regulation (EU) No 461/2020 of the European Parliament and the Council of 30 March 2020 (OJ L 99, 31.3.2020, p. 9).

[2] Directive 2003/96/EU restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity – ‘energy taxation Directive’. A revision is planned for June 2021 as part of the European Green Deal to better align it with EU energy and climate objectives whilst ensuring the proper functioning of the internal market, with a consistent tax treatment of energy sources and by providing producers, users and consumers with incentives for sustainable practices.

[3] Note: Article 18(8) of the Directive 2003/96/EU allows Greece to apply lower levels of taxation on gas oil used as propellant and on petrol consumed in the departments of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, the Dodecanese and the Cyclades and on a number of Islands in the Aegean.



[6] ‘Saving at Home’, ‘Saving at Home II’ and ‘Save – Autonomous’.

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