MEPs approved €31.5 million in EU aid to repair flood damage in Bavaria in a plenary vote on Thursday. Seven people died in the May and June 2016 floods, which affected more than 47,000 people in Lower Bavaria. Over 2,000 were still unable to return to their homes two months later. Hardest hit was the Rottal-Inn district in Lower Bavaria. The aid will come from the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF).
The report by Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE) was approved by 592 votes to 9, with 43 abstentions. The corresponding draft amending budget No. 6/2016, by rapporteur José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT) was approved by 590 votes to 25, with 29 abstentions.
In May and June 2016, the region of Niederbayern (Lower Bavaria) in Germany suffered heavy rainfall causing rivers to burst their banks and flooding in several villages. The disaster resulted in damage to public infrastructure and buildings, private homes, businesses and farmland. The total amount of direct damage is estimated by the German authorities to be €1,259 million.
The EUSF aid of €31.5 million is intended to help restore essential infrastructure, reimburse the cost of emergency measures and cover the costs of some of the clean-up operations.
The Council approved the aid on 15 November. With the European Parliament’s green light, the funds will be available within weeks.
The EUSF was set up in 2002 in response to the disastrous flooding that affected central Europe in the summer of that year. Since then, more than 70 disasters — including floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought — in at least 24 different European countries have received EUSF support totalling more than €3.7 billion.