Report from the Commission - European Union Solidarity Fund - Annual Report 2008 and Report on the experience gained after six years of applying the new instrument
/* COM/2009/0193 final */
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[pic] | COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES |
COM(2009) 193 final
REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION
European Union Solidarity Fund Annual report 2008 and Report on the experience gained after six years of applying the new instrument
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part 1: Annual Report 2008 3
1. Introduction 3
2. Pending applications and new applications received in 2008 3
3. Financing 5
4. Closures 6
Part 2: Report on the experience gained after six years of applying the new instrument 7
1. Introduction 7
2. Overall results of the implementation of the Fund 7
3. Limitations and weaknesses in the operation of the Fund 8
4. The Court of Auditors report on the Solidarity Fund 9
5. Conclusions: Improving the functioning of the instrument 10
Annex 1: European Union Solidarity Fund applications in 2008 12
Annex 2 : EU Solidarity Fund Applications since 2002 13
PART 1: ANNUAL REPORT 2008
The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was set up on 15 November 2002. Article 12 of Council Regulation (EC) N° 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund (hereinafter - the "Solidarity Fund Regulation") provides that a report on the activity of the Fund in the previous year be presented to the European Parliament and to the Council. The first part of this report presents the activities of the Fund in 2008 covering, as in previous reports, the treatment of pending and new applications and the assessment of implementation reports with a view to preparing these for closure.
2. PENDING APPLICATIONS AND NEW APPLICATIONS RECEIVED IN 2008
In 2008 the Commission dealt with four applications submitted in 2007 and received two new applications for EUSF assistance. Annex 1 gives a detailed overview of these cases, which were assessed in the light of the criteria set out in the Solidarity Fund Regulation and of the information that applicant States were able to provide.
Following the major floods in different parts of the United Kingdom in June and July 2007 the UK authorities submitted an application for financial assistance on 20 August 2007, which was completed on 26 October 2007. As total direct damages of over EUR 4.6 billion exceeded the threshold of EUR 3.267 billion applicable to the UK for triggering the EUSF, the disaster qualified as a “major natural disaster” and fell thus within the main field of application of the Fund. The Commission decided on 10 December 2007 to propose to the budget authority to mobilise the Solidarity Fund and to grant financial aid amounting to EUR 162.388 million. In 2008, the budget procedure in the Council and the European Parliament was completed and the grant was paid to the United Kingdom on 27 October 2008.
France (Martinique and Guadeloupe)
In August 2007 the French overseas departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe, two islands of the French Antilles, were affected by the hurricane "Dean" causing severe damage to infrastructures and different sectors of the economy. France submitted an application for financial assistance from the EUSF on 26 October 2007, which was completed on 8 January 2008. Having caused damage amounting to EUR 511 million the storm did not meet the criteria set out in the Solidarity Fund Regulation for "major disasters". However, taking into consideration the particular vulnerability of this outermost region (specifically referred to in the Solidarity Fund Regulation) and the serious impact and repercussions, the Commission concluded that the application meets the specific criteria in the Solidarity Fund Regulation for extraordinary regional disasters. On 10 September 2008 the Commission proposed to mobilise financial assistance of EUR 12.780 million. Following the budget procedure in the Council and the European Parliament, the grant was paid to France on 24 December 2008.
In August 2007 a fairly extensive part of Greece was affected by forest fires, which caused major damage to different sectors of the economy and to the natural environment. The Greek authorities asked for EUSF assistance on 30 October 2007 and completed the application on 24 January 2008. Total direct damage was estimated at EUR 2.118 billion. As this amount exceeds the threshold of EUR 1 066.497 million (i.e. 0.6% of GNI), applicable to Greece, the disaster qualified as a “major natural disaster”. On 8 April 2008 the Commission proposed to mobilise financial assistance of EUR 89.769 million. Following the budget procedure in the Council and the European Parliament, the grant was paid to Greece on 29 September 2008.
In mid September 2007, parts of Slovenia were affected by heavy rain and storm leading to severe floods and landslides. The disaster caused significant damage to infrastructure, public and private buildings, business and agriculture. The Slovenian authorities submitted an application for EUSF assistance on 19 November 2007. Total direct damage was estimated at EUR 233.39 million. As this amount exceeds the threshold of EUR 164.27 million (i.e. 0.6% of GNI) applicable to Slovenia, the disaster qualified as a “major natural disaster". On 3 March 2008 the Commission proposed to mobilise financial assistance of EUR 8.254 million. Following the budget procedure in the Council and the European Parliament, the grant was paid to Slovenia on 12 December 2008.
In 2008, Cyprus had been suffering from a shortfall of rain that has lead to serious effects on living conditions, the economy and the natural environment. The Cypriot authorities submitted an application for EUSF assistance on 1 July 2008, which was completed on 16 October 2008. This was the first application relating to drought. The Solidarity Fund Regulation requires an application to be made no later than ten weeks after the first damage caused by the disaster. Against the background of the three-year period of unusually low rains, at the end of the rainy season, in April 2008, the absence of the rainfall reached its peak. The Commission, therefore, considered that the 22 April 2008, i.e. 10 weeks before the application was received, could be accepted as starting date of the major disaster.
The Cypriot authorities estimated the total direct damage, incurred after 22 April 2008, at EUR 176.15 million. As this amount exceeded the threshold of EUR 84.673 million (i.e. 0.6% of GNI) applicable for Cyprus, the drought qualified as a “major natural disaster”. The Commission noted the fact that the crisis concerned a "major disaster", which affected the complete territory of the country. Major emergency measures had been taken by the public authorities from April/May 2008 to address it. The costs of essential emergency operations relate to the transport of water from Greece and immediate investments into the water infrastructure to secure the functioning of the water distribution network under conditions of discontinued water flow. On 24 October 2008, the Commission proposed to mobilise financial assistance of EUR 7.605 million.
In July 2008 a fairly extensive part of Romania was affected by heavy rain, leading to severe flooding and landslides. The Romanian authorities applied for EUSF assistance on 1 October 2008. Total direct damage was estimated at EUR 471.41 million. As this amount remained below the "major disaster" threshold for Romania (€ 566.84 million, i.e. 0.6% of Romania’s GNI), representing however approximately 83 % of the threshold, the application was assessed on the so-called “extraordinary regional disaster” criterion.
The affected region is a coherent area, comprising 5 counties in the North-Eastern part of Romania, with a population of 3.046 million inhabitants. The major part of the population in the affected area had been affected, with a partial or total destruction of private homes and agricultural crops. Evidence was presented to demonstrate serious and lasting repercussions on living conditions and the economic stability of the affected region. Serious damage was reported to basic infrastructures, agriculture, forestry, livestock, and private homes. The disaster caused lasting repercussions on living conditions in the affected region, with around 14 644 households being destroyed, lasting unavailability of basic infrastructures (water/energy), and a seriously damaged transport infrastructure leading to a complete isolation of around 100 municipalities. On 22 January 2009, the Commission concluded that the application meets the criteria for extraordinary regional disasters, and it proposed to grant aid amounting to EUR 11.785 million
The four cases from 2007 for which the budget procedure had not yet been completed before the end of the year (floods in the United Kingdom and Slovenia, forest fires in Greece and a hurricane in France/Martinique and Guadeloupe) were dealt with in three amending budgets. Preliminary Draft Amending Budget No 1/2008, 3/2008 and 7/2008 were approved by the Budgetary Authority on 9 April 2008, 5 June 2008 and 21 October 2008 respectively. The payments could be made after adoption of the grant decision and after the implementation agreement was signed.
In 2008 the Fund was mobilised for one new case (drought in Cyprus). The amount of aid in each case were determined on the basis of the standard method previously developed by the Commission and explained in detail in the 2002/2003 annual report. The amounts of aid in 2008 were the following:
Beneficiary | Disaster | Category | Amount of aid (EUR) |
United Kingdom | Flooding | major | 162 387 985 |
Greece | Forest fires | major | 89 769 009 |
Slovenia | Flooding | major | 8 254 203 |
France/ Martinique and Gouadeloupe | Hurricane | regional/ ultraperipheral | 12 780 000 |
Cyprus | Drought | major | 7 605 445 |
Total | 280 796 642 |
For an application from Romania (Flooding) received in 2008 the budget procedure could not be completed before the end of the year. For this application the Commission presented Preliminary Draft Amending Budgets No 1/2009, the annual report of next year will report on this case.
Article 8(2) of Solidarity Fund Regulation states that no later than six months after the expiry of the one-year period from the date of disbursement of the grant, the beneficiary State shall present a report on the financial execution of the grant (hereinafter: an “implementation report”) with a statement justifying the expenditure (hereinafter: a “validity statement”). At the end of this procedure, the Commission shall wind up the assistance from the Fund.
As regards the closure of assistance of the case relating to the storm ("Gudrun") 2005 in Sweden, for which the implementation report was received in on 17 and 20 October 2007, the Commission noted that the declared expenditure amounted to EUR 66 455 534. As the total financial assistance amounted to € 81 724 975, the remaining balance of EUR 15 269 441 was recovered. The Commission wound up the assistance on 8 July 2008.
In 2008, the Commission received final implementation reports for grants made in 2006 from Bulgaria (relating to the floods in May and August 2005), Romania (relating to the floods in April and July 2005) and Austria (relating to the floods in August 2005). At the end of the period covered by this annual report the assessment of these implementation reports was ongoing.
PART 2: REPORT ON THE EXPERIENCE GAINED AFTER SIX YEARS OF APPLYING THE NEW INSTRUMENT
In 2002, following major floods in Central Europe, the EUSF was created in order to respond to such events within the EU and countries which had opened accession negotiations. During the first six years of its implementation, the Fund has helped to alleviate the financial burden on disaster-affected countries and it has thus been beneficial to the image of the Union in the eyes of its citizens, offering help and additional resources at times of particular hardship.
Following an in-depth analysis of the functioning of the Fund the Commission proposed in April 2005 a revised Solidarity Fund regulation. The key elements of the proposal are an enlarged scope, to enable the Community to react to disasters of other than natural origin, the provision for advance payments, to accelerate the rate of response and the visibility of Union support and a simplification, by introducing clearer criteria for the activation of the Fund.
2. OVERALL RESULTS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FUND
Since the creation of the Fund in 2002, the Commission has received 62 applications for financial assistance from 21 different countries: 21 of these applications fall under the category "major disasters", 39 under "regional disasters" and two under the criteria "neighbouring countries". Of these applications, 31 led to the granting of financial support totalling more than € 1.5 billion. The Commission has rejected 29 requests and two applications were withdrawn by the applicant States. The requests have concerned very different types of natural disasters like storms, floods, earthquakes, a volcanic eruption, forest fires and drought. Annex 2 gives an overview of all applications received since 2002.
As is shown in the statistical overview below, the experience since 2002 has shown that the majority of applications for EUSF assistance are not presented for major disasters which represent the main scope of the Fund, but under the exceptional criteria for regional disasters. These criteria - which according to the Regulation are to be examined by the Commission “with the utmost rigour” - continue to be relatively difficult to meet. The rate of unsuccessful applications for the regional (exceptional) criteria, at around two-thirds, continues to be high. For major disaster applications for which only a single quantitative criterion applies, the positive assessments have so far a rate of 100%.
Total n° of applications received of which major disasters regional disasters “neighbouring country” criterion | 62 21 39 2 | 34 % of applications 63 % 3 % |
Applications accepted Applications rejected Applications withdrawn | 31 29 2 | 50 % of applications 47 % 3 % |
3. LIMITATIONS AND WEAKNESSES IN THE OPERATION OF THE FUND
While the Fund has generally been working well, the experience gathered during the first six years of its implementation shows that there are important limitations and weaknesses in the operation of the Fund. These relate to the lack of rapidity with which financing from the Fund is made available, the transparency of the criteria for mobilising the Fund in the case of "regional disasters" and the limitation to disasters of natural origin.
The issues raised with regard to rapidity are inherent to the conditions and procedures imposed by the Solidarity Fund Regulation. The EU Solidarity Fund is often mistaken for a rapid response instrument for crisis management, for which it was not conceived. It is an instrument to help re-finance emergency operations financed initially by the public authorities in the affected country. It should be considered that, first of all, the Commission may not act upon its own initiative to mobilise the Solidarity Fund. It has to wait for a formal application to be presented by the national authorities which regularly use the full 10 weeks from the start of the disaster permitted by the Regulation to make their application. In most cases the Commission has to request complementary information. Secondly, the Solidarity Fund money is not immediately available in the EU budget. It needs to be raised by an extra financial effort of the Member States, over and above their normal EU contributions. Before aid can be paid the Commission has to ask the Council and the European Parliament to approve an amending budget, which involves a rather heavy procedure (lasting usually between 2 and 4 months).
The definition of "regional disaster" in the Solidarity Fund Regulation is rather vague and conditions for successful applications are difficult to meet. When the "major disaster" threshold is not met, the Fund can exceptionally be mobilised if an extraordinary regional disaster affects the majority of the population of a region and if it has serious and lasting effects on its economic stability and living conditions. According to the Solidarity Fund Regulation, the Commission is required to examine "with the utmost rigour" any regional disaster application. As a result, Member States and the Commission invest considerable time and effort in, respectively, preparing and assessing applications for smaller regional disasters that in the majority of cases nevertheless lead to rejections.
Responding appropriately at EU level to major crises which are not of natural origin with the existing instruments is extremely difficult or even impossible, as illustrated by industrial accidents such as the Prestige oil spill, or terrorist acts such as the Madrid bombing of March 2004. Likewise, it is not possible at present to provide assistance from the EUSF in the event of a serious public health crisis - such as the spreading of an epidemic like SARS to Europe or caused by an accident of the Chernobyl type - which could easily surpass the response capacities of the individual States.
The Commission will examine ways to better integrate risk prevention concerns in the Solidarity Fund Regulation.
4. THE COURT OF AUDITORS REPORT ON THE SOLIDARITY FUND
In 2008, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) presented the results of a performance audit on the EUSF. The audit examined whether the Fund was rapid, efficient and flexible in providing assistance and whether recipient states were satisfied with the Fund. To this end, the Court reviewed all applications up to the end of 2006 and carried out a survey by addressing questionnaires to the applicant states. The report was published by the Court on 18 June 2008 (Special Report No 3/2008).
The Court found that direct costs associated with managing the Fund by the Commission were low and so the Fund was considered to be working efficiently. Administrative procedures had been reduced to a level which ensures that the procedures are efficient for beneficiary states as well. As regards flexibility, the Court found no cases where the Commission showed a lack of flexibility in its treatment of applications for aid. It was however noted that conditions for a successful application for smaller 'regional disasters' (as opposed to 'major disasters') are more difficult to meet. The report also refers to the vague definition of regional disasters in the Solidarity Fund Regulation and a possible lack of clarity in the rejection of such disasters. The Court reserved its main criticism to the lack of rapidity of the instrument. The time taken between the application and the payment was usually about one year. The Court found therefore that the Fund did not provide a rapid response. Despite the protracted process involved in obtaining aid from the Fund, states that received money were satisfied or very satisfied with the Fund. The Court therefore found that the Fund has met its underlying objective of demonstrating solidarity with Member States in times of disaster. It was recommended that the Commission provide detailed guidance to applicants and advice on how to achieve the prompt submission of applications.
The Commission fully agrees with the recommendation of the Court. It published guidelines for applicant Member States and explained in detail in what way it applies the provisions of the Solidarity Fund Regulation. In order to simplify the procedure and to help avoid delays in the submission of information, the Commission developed a standard application form as well as a detailed guidance note for applications. Both documents are available on special website, dedicated to the Solidarity Fund (http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/funds/solidar/solid_en.htm). The Commission will also continue to seek direct contact with the body preparing the request, as suggested by the Court. In many cases in the past however, applications were submitted "ad hoc", without the applicant states seeking any prior contact with the Commission. In order to simplify the first contact from potential applicant countries, the Commission indicated on its Solidarity Fund website the contact details on the side of the Commission.
All in all, the Commission considers that the critical remarks of the Court as regards the lack of rapidity of the instrument and the treatment of regional disasters support the need for a revised instrument with simpler and clearer criteria for its activation in less time, as proposed by the Commission.
5. CONCLUSIONS: IMPROVING THE FUNCTIONING OF THE INSTRUMENT
While the Fund has generally been working well, in particular as regards major natural disasters for which it was initially set up, the experiences gathered so far underline that there is a need for further developing the instrument. This concerns in particular the lack of rapidity with which the funding is made available to beneficiary states and the transparency of the criteria for mobilising the Fund in the case of regional disasters. Both points are pointed out by the Court of Auditors. In addition, the instrument could be improved in order to allow responding appropriately at EU level to major crises which are not of natural origin. This is why the Commission adopted its proposal for a new Solidarity Fund Regulation on 6 April 2005 (COM(2005)108), which has been largely supported in the European Parliament. This proposal widens the scope of the Fund and introduces a number of modifications to its operation.
Making the Fund more transparent
The Commission remains in favour of improving the transparency and simplicity of the criteria governing the mobilisation of the Solidarity Fund. This would help the national authorities to have a clearer idea of when the Fund is likely to be able to support them in recovering from a disaster. An important element therefore is a new definition of the criteria for triggering the Fund. The proposal to lower the threshold (to € 1 bn/0.5% of GNI, whatever is the lower) while abolishing the exceptional mobilisation of the Fund for regional disasters, taken together, would improve the transparency of the Fund and avoid deceived hopes when applications are rejected. An alternative option, based on the existing regulation while keeping the possibility to mobilise the Fund for regional disasters, would be the introduction of a clear quantitative threshold for regional disasters, i.e. a percentage of the regional GDP (NUTS I or NUTS II). Both options would allow mobilising the Fund based on a single clear criterion - the importance of the damage - in all those cases where European Solidarity is really needed, including those disasters for which the difficult regional criterion is used today. Through such a change, equal treatment would be ensured and Member States would be in a better position to assess the prospect of an application. The ensuing lower rejection rate by the Commission (close to two-thirds in the case of regional disasters) would also contribute to the positive image of the Solidarity Fund as a solidarity instrument.
Allowing a faster disaster response
In order to be able to react more quickly, certain operational improvements could be envisaged allowing to take immediate solidarity action by making an advance payment as soon as the affected State has applied for assistance. This down-payment would be treated as an advance on the assistance to be granted once the assessment and budgetary procedure are completed. However, clear and transparent criteria for mobilising the Fund are a precondition for such a faster disaster response as the applicant State would have to repay the advance to the Commission in the event that an application is not accepted.
Widening the scope
In the event of major disasters of other than natural origin nature citizens rightly expect the EU to be present and assist – which is reflected by calls at the political level for the EU to become active. The Commission therefore considers that the Solidarity Fund should be able to respond in the event of a major crisis, independent of its nature or origin. The proposed new regulation of 2005 widens the scope of the EUSF to include health, terrorist and industrial/technological disasters (within the overall annual expenditure ceiling of the EUSF).
Although there has been no progress in the Council on the proposed, revised Solidarity Fund Regulation since 2005, the Commission continues to be prepared to actively support the search for a compromise. The aim would be to identify areas where a compromise could be found in order to allow the Commission to amend its proposal. It therefore calls on the Council and the European Parliament to re-examine the Commission proposal of 2005 in the light of this report in order to allow the Commission to come forward with an amended proposal in 2009.
ANNEX 1: EUROPEAN UNION SOLIDARITY FUND APPLICATIONS IN 2008
Application date* | 20/8/07 | 26/10/07 | 30/10/07 | 19/11/07 | 01/07/2008 | 1/10/2008 |
Complete information available on | 22/10/07 | - | 20/12/07 | - | - | - |
Major disaster threshold (m€) | 3 266.629 | 3 266.629 | 1 066.497 | 164.272 | 84.673 | 566.84 |
Total direct damage (m€)** | 4612 | 511.2 | 2118.27 | 223.28 | 176.15 | 471.41 |
Category | major | regional | major | major | major | regional |
Damage/threshold | 141.19% | 15.65% | 198.62% | 135.92% | 208.03 % | 83.16% |
Cost of eligible emergency operations (m€)** | 356.7 | 119.9 | 1007 | 154.39 | 59.45 | 390.81 |
Eligible cost/ total damage | 7.73% | 23.45% | 47.52% | 69.15% | 33.74% | 82.9% |
Aid/eligible cost | 45.53% | 10.66 | 8.91% | 4.95% | 12.79% | 3.01% |
Aid rate (% of total damage) | 3.52% | 2.5 | 4.24% | 3.42% | 4.31% | 2.49% |
Date of grant decision | 17/06/2008 | 25/11/2008 | 08/092008 | 22/09/2008 | 2009 | 2009 |
Date of Implementation agreement | 07/08/2008 | 11/12/2008 | 08/092008 | 07/11/2008 | 2009 | 2009 |
2 | CZ | Flooding | 2 300 | major | 129 |
3 | FR | Flooding (Le Gard) | 835 | regional | 21 |
4 | DE | Flooding | 9 100 | major | 444 |
Total aid for 2002 applications | 728 |
2 0 0 3 | 1 | ES | Oil spill (Prestige) | 436 | regional | 8.626 |
2 | IT | Earthquake (Molise/Apulia) | 1 558 | regional | 30.826 |
3 | IT | Volcanic eruption (Etna) | 894 | regional | 16.798 |
4 | IT | Flooding (North Italy) | 1 900 | (major) | Rejected (deadline) |
5 | GR | Adverse winter weather | not clear | (major) | Rejected (deadline) |
6 | PT | Forest fires | 1 228 | major | 48.539 |
7 | FR | Forest fires (Southern France) | 531 | (regional) | Rejected |
8 | ES | Forest fires (Portuguese border) | 53 | neighbouring country | 1.331 |
9 | MT | Flooding | 30 | major | 0.961 |
10 | IT | Flooding (Friuli Venezia-Giulia) | 525 | regional | Rejected |
Total aid for 2003 applications | 107.081 |
2 0 0 4 | 1 | FR | Flooding (Rhone delta) | 785 | regional | 19.625 |
2 | ES | Flooding (Malaga) | 73 | (regional) | Rejected |
3-9 | ES | Forest fires (7 applications) | (480) | (regional) | all 7 rejected |
10 | SK | Flooding | 29 | (regional) | Rejected |
11 | SI | Earthquake | 13 | (regional) | withdrawn |
Total aid for 2004 applications | 19.625 |
2 | IT | Flooding (Sardinia) | (223, over-estimated) | (regional) | Rejected |
3 | EE | Storm | 48 | major | 1.29 |
4 | LV | Storm | 193 | major | 9.487 |
5 | SE | Storm "Gudrun" | 2297 | major | 81.725 |
6 | LT | Storm | 15 | neighbouring country | 0.379 |
7 | EL | Evros flooding | (112) | (regional) | Rejected |
8 | RO | Spring flooding | 489 | major | 18.798 |
9 | BG | Spring flooding | 222 | major | 9.722 |
10 | BG | Summer flooding | 237 | major | 10.632 |
11 | RO | Summer flooding | 1050 | major | 52.4 |
12 | AT | Flooding (Tyrol/Vorarlberg) | 592 | regional | 14.799 |
Total aid for 2005 applications | 204.891 |
2 0 0 6 | 1 | UK | Buncefield oil depot explosion | (700) | (regional) | withdrawn |
2 | EL | Evros flooding | 372 | regional | 9.306 |
3 | HU | Flooding | 519 | major | 15.064 |
4 | ES | Galicia forest fires | (91) | (regional) | Rejected |
Total aid for 2006 applications | 24.370 |
2 0 0 7 | 1 | DE | Storm "Kyrill" | 4750 | major | 166.9 |
2 | FR | La Réunion, Cyclone "Gamede" | 211 | regional | 5.29 |
3 | ES | EL Hierro flooding | (18) | (regional) | Rejected |
4 | ES | La Mancha flooding | 66 | (regional) | Rejected |
5 | UK | Flooding | 4 612 | major | 162.387 |
6 | CY | Forest fires | 38 | (regional) | Rejected |
7 | ES | Forst Fires Canary islands | 144 | (regional) | Rejected |
8-16 | IT | 9 applications for forest fires in 9 regions | - | (regional) | not admissible, deadline missed |
17 | FR | Storm Dean/Martinique | 509 | regional | 12.78 |
18 | EL | Forest fires | 2 118 | major | 89.769 |
19 | SI | Flooding | 233 | major | 8.254 |
Total aid for 2007 applications | 445.38 |
2 0 0 8 | 1 | CY | Drought | 165.4 | major | 7.605 |
2 | RO | Floods | 471.4 | regional | 11.785 |
 OJ L 311, 14.11.2002.
 COM (2008) 15; Amending budget 1/2008 adopted on 9 April 2008, JO L 175, p. 1 of 4 July 2008
 COM (2008) 201; Amending budget 3/2008 adopted on 5 June 2008, JO L 208 p. 1 of 5 August 2008
 COM (2008) 556; Amending budget 7/2008 adopted on 21 October, JO L 315 p.1 of 25 November 2008
 COM (2008) 732; Amending budget 10/2008 adopted on 18 December 2008, JO L 27, p. 91 of 30 January.2009
 COM (2009) 22
 Form the 29 rejected applications, 27 concerned "regional disaster" applications.
 "The European Union Solidarity Fund: how rapid, efficient and flexible is it?" OJ C 153, 18.6.2008
 Data in italics is subject to verification/confirmation by the Commission