Coronavirus: Italy first country to call on EU Solidarity Fund
Share article:
Share article:

Coronavirus: Italy first country to call on EU Solidarity Fund

Credit: Belga

Italy has become the first member state to seek assistance from the EU Solidarity Fund due to the coronavirus crisis, the European Commission announced on Monday.

Italy has yet to detail the financial aid it expects but will do so in the coming weeks, according to a press release.

“Italy is currently the Member State that is hardest-hit by the coronavirus crisis, and is the first country to apply for help from the EU Solidarity Fund in this context,” said Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira.

Since 1 April, EU member states may draw on the Fund to finance expenses that will either provide immediate assistance to the affected population or cover the prevention and monitoring of health risks. The condition is that expenses must have been at least €1.5 billion or 0.3% of Gross National Income from the outset of the crisis. States who are in the midst of accession negotiations can apply as well.

The EU Solidarity Fund was originally conceived in 2002 to help regions affected by major natural disasters. Following the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), its scope was expanded to cover major health crises.

Related Articles


“Thanks to its extended scope, now also including public health emergencies, the Fund is part of the tools the Commission has rapidly put in place to alleviate the burden on Member States’ budgets, as a concrete demonstration of European solidarity in these difficult times,” Ferreira said.

The Commission will wait until 24 June and assess all the applications for assistance it receives by this date. “This ensures that the available resources are being distributed in a fair and equitable manner among all Member States that are hardest-hit by this health emergency,” according to the Commission.

“For 2020, the Fund has €800 million at its disposal to provide financial aid to the EU countries worst affected by this crisis,” the Commission said.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
Up to 100 km/h winds expected across Belgium on Wednesday night
Gusts of up to 100 km/h are expected across Belgium on Wednesday night, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI), which has issued a ...
Cycling traffic officially added to VRT’s traffic bulletin
Usually a list of updates for drivers on busy roads, traffic bulletins will now include the latest travel news for cyclists in Belgium, VRT announced ...
MEPs call for European strategy to protect workers from asbestos
Members of the European Parliament are calling on the Commission to create a strategy for removing all abestos from buildings in order to reduce the ...
Mandatory vaccine for carers: employers call for sanctions
In a notice submitted by the National Council for Work (CNT), employers have called for heavy penalties for healthcare workers who refuse to receive ...
Police pension protest blocks several Brussels crossroads
On Wednesday, around 350 police officers expressed their dissatisfaction about the unclear pension scheme, low salaries and politicised police unions ...
Belgium in Brief: A Consultative Committee Sequel
Sequels often have a lot to live up to and when it comes to movie franchises, it gets difficult to keep up the hype once you get towards the final ...
25 years ago today: 300,000 people marched in white against child abuse
On this day 25 years ago, over 300,000 people marched in Brussels to demand a more effective justice system and to support the families of Julie, ...
Windy weather forecast should lower gas prices
After weeks of relatively calm conditions, a return to windy weather should lower Europe's soaring energy prices. Wind turbines in the UK and Germany ...
EC calls on candidate countries to focus on fundamental reforms before they can join the EU
The European Commission adopted yesterday its 2021 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by ...
Cigarette-eating robot patrols Ghent streets to fight littering
A litter fighting (and eating) robot will be patrolling the streets of Ghent in the coming weeks in an effort to raise awareness of the growing ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...