The Commission has adopted the financing decision awarding €319 million of EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) support to Croatia. This follows the series of devastating series of earthquakes that hit Sisak-Moslavina, Karlovac and Zagreb Counties in December 2020 and January 2021.
This catastrophe came only a few months after the devastating earthquake that hit Zagreb and its surroundings in March 2020. At the time, the Commission granted EUSF support for about €684 million to Croatia in 2020.
This financial support will help finance the restoration of essential infrastructure. This is needed in the areas of energy, water and wastewater, telecommunications, transport, health and education.
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira said:
“Croatia has gone through two terrible earthquakes in March 2020 and again a series of earthquakes in December 2020 and January 2021. The financial support from the EU Solidarity Fund to Croatia will contribute to the recovery efforts. This is essential after the devastation brought by the earthquakes and it is a visible sign of EU solidarity.”
On 18 March 2021, Croatia submitted an application for a contribution from the European Union Solidarity Fund. The country was to finance emergency and recovery operations following the series of earthquakes starting from 28 December 2020.
The Commission assessed the application. The budgetary authority then approved a financial contribution from the EUSF of EUR 319 million.
€41 million were already paid to Croatia as an advance in August 2021. The balance payment of around €277.8 million was executed on 30 December 2021.
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 €.