EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) and the COVID-19 - EU Solidarity Fund
Description Go to funding source website
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 80 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 5 billion €.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the scope of the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) has been extended as of 1 April 2020 to encompass major public health emergencies. Find here the dedicated page.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the urgent need to tackle the associated public health crisis, the scope of the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) has been extended to cover major public health emergencies.
Which countries can apply?
The EUSF may be mobilised at the request of
- an EU country, or
- a country involved in negotiations with a view to joining the EU
The estimated expenditure on emergency response measures to support the public and limit the spread of the disease within 4 months of the date on which the country took its first public measure to tackle the crisis, is to be more than €1.5 billion in 2011 prices, or more than 0.3 of its gross national income
EUSF funding will complement the efforts of the affected countries. It will cover part of their public expenditure on:
- rapidly assisting people affected by a major public health emergency caused by COVID-19, including medical help;
- protecting the public against the attendant risks; this includes preventing, monitoring or controlling the spread of disease, and combating severe risks to public health or mitigating their impact.
How do we apply?
1. Before you apply, get in touch as soon as possible with the team responsible in the Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy using the contact details at the bottom of this page. They can help you speed up the application procedure to the maximum.
2. Apply using the mandatory health emergencies application form (see website for more details). This ensures that applications are readily comparable and speeds up processing.
- Health emergencies application form (Last update: 01-04-2020)
- Guidelines for health emergencies (Last update: 01-04-2020)
- Thresholds for major health emergencies
- Guidance on implementation, closure and auditing processes
3. Make sure your application reaches the Commission within 12 weeks of the date on which your country first took official action to tackle the emergency.
You can send updates or additional information, but they must reach us by 24 June 2020. The Commission wants to make sure all COVID-19 applications are treated fairly – there is no ‘first come first served’ principle.
What happens next?
a. The Commission will assess all complete applications received by the deadline of 24 June 2020.
b. It will then propose an amount of aid to the European Parliament and the Council, which will decide whether to approve it.
c. The Commission will then take a decision awarding the aid to the countries affected.
d. These countries will receive the aid immediately, as a lump sum.
e. Countries receiving aid are responsible for implementation. This includes selecting operations, auditing them and conducting checks.
Emergency measures may be financed retroactively from the day of the first official measure taken and up to 4 months after.
What costs does the Solidarity Fund cover?
All types of assistance to the public (medical, health sector and civil-protection-type measures) and any type of measure taken to contain the disease, such as:
- Medical assistance - including medicines, medical equipment and devices, healthcare, and civil protection infrastructure
- Laboratory analyses
- Extraordinary measures and healthcare / medical care associated with the COVID-19 virus, which thus entail extra costs
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Special assistance to the public, especially to vulnerable groups (the elderly, people with health problems, pregnant women, single working parents, etc.)
- Special support to keep medical and other emergency service personnel operational
- Development of vaccines or medicines
- Improving preparedness planning capacity and related communication
- Improving risk assessment and risk management
- Sanitisation of buildings and other sites
- Health checks, including checks at national borders
- All additional staff costs arising from the epidemic.
The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) will finance part of public spending, calculated as follows:
- 2.5% of the total amount of public spending below €1.5 billion in 2011 prices, or 0.3 of its GNI, plus
- 6% of the total amount of public spending above the same threshold.
If, for any reason, the budgetary resources available in 2020 (around €800 million in total) are insufficient for the Commission to be able to award the full amounts as calculated by the above method, it will reduce the amounts disbursed so as to divide the budget available fairly among all eligible applicants.
- Regulation (EU) No 461/2020 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30/03/2020 amending Council regulation (EC) No 2012/2002
- Revised EU Solidarity Fund Regulation as amended in 2014 (consolidated version)
DG Regional and Urban Policy
phone: +32 2 296 65 15
phone: +32 229-66062
phone: +32 2 295 36 09