CHAIRMAN of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen has been informed by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan, that it is widely unrealistic that Ireland might be in a position to draw down €50 to €60 million in funding from from the European Union’s Solidarity Fund in response to the recent storms.
He said this position was based on the content of contact between Irish Officials and the Commission DG Regio on Monday. The clarification was sought from the Commission, solely in order to confirm the factual position, in light of statements issued by Irish MEPs, following their meetings with Commissioner Hahn on the margins of the EP Plenary in Strasbourg on Thursday of last week.
“The total funding available under the Solidarity Fund for 2014 is €500m in 2011 figures or inflation adjusted, €531m. There is no additional funding available this year arising from any carryover of 2013 allocations, despite suggestions to the contrary. There is no provision or carry over unallocated funds from 2013 to 2014, nor indeed have there been any unallocated funds in 2013. There will however be additional payments in 2014 of up to €300 milllion which have been already approved by the budgetary authority€50-€60m from the EUSF in response to the he recent disaster can, in view of the above figures, be considered to be wildly unrealistic,” Deputy Breen said.