Emergency humanitarian aid of EUR 700 million to the countries of the European

Brussels confirmed, on Wednesday, 2 March 2016, the urgent grant of EUR 700 million over three years to the countries of the European Union in humanitarian crisis; This envelope is destined mainly for Greece, in order to help it to come to the aid of the tens of thousands of migrants now blocked in the country.

While many sectors in Europe are experiencing a major crisis (agriculture in particular), it seems indecent to me to issue such a sum of money even though the main victims are workers who would like to see aid Question is given to them.

The Commission is therefore invited to answer the following question: What political objective does the Union give to the use of these 700 million

Reply by Mr Stylianides on behalf of the Committee:

The new emergency aid instrument attests to the solidarity between the Member States of the European Union (EU). It helps one of the Member States of the Union when the latter comes to be faced with an extraordinary situation whose magnitude and impact are such that they can lead to serious economic difficulties. This new instrument allows the EU to provide emergency financial aid when it is necessary to put in place rapid relief and humanitarian aid actions within the EU, which can save lives, designed to protect people in Need and to assist them.

The Commission has proposed to make available a total amount of EUR 700 million, divided into different tranches, between 2016 and 2018, in order to meet the growing humanitarian needs of the EU through the migration emergency and the influx of Refugees.

The first round of funding for this new instrument focused specifically on the most urgent humanitarian needs identified in Greece, where refugees and migrants are stranded. On 19 April 2016 the Commission granted a total amount of EUR 83 million million to the United Nations refugee Agency (UNHCR), a pan-European consortium of Red Cross companies and six European non-governmental organisations, in particular the International Relief Committee, the Danish Council for Refugees, Doctors of the world, Oxfam, the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (Union of Samaritan workers) and Save the Children. The interventions concerned are in line with the European consensus on humanitarian aid and related EU policies and measures, including those dealing with protection, children in emergency situations, health, water, Sanitation and hygiene, accommodation and food, as well as Sphere standards for humanitarian aid.

[1]     Council Regulation (EU) 2016/369 of 15 March 2016 on the provision of emergency aid within the Union (OJ L 70, 16.3.2016, p. 1).

[2]     Humanitarian charter and minimum standards in humanitarian Response (humane charter and minimum standards for humanitarian aid).