Inter-ministerial task force coordinating the preparation of the application for the EU Solidarity Fund starts work
After the Government yesterday established the inter-ministerial task force that will coordinate the preparation of the application for the EU Solidarity Fund, its members met today for the first time. The task force brings together state secretaries and experts from the ministries who agreed on the timeline and way of working.
State Secretary at the Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development Andreja Katič, who leads the task force, underlined that the goal was to have the application ready as soon as possible, but at the latest within 12 weeks from the first damage caused by the natural disaster. ''The deadline for the submission of the application is 27 October 2023, but before that, the application needs to be approved by the Government. In the application, we have to estimate the total direct damage, breaking down the amount by categories and outlining the recovery and reconstruction measures regardless of the funding source. We also have to specify the measures that will be covered by the EU Solidarity Fund. Part of the application is the request for an advance payment.''
As regards the collection of the relevant information on the damage caused by the flash floods and corresponding recovery and reconstruction measures, State Secretary explained that all services have already been gathering the relevant information on the ground. The role of the task force will be to work on the content of the application and the request for advance payment at the same time. ''This actually means that we will not wait for the report on the total damage. Our ministries will prepare the reports per individual categories or sectors and update them to reflect any new information received. We have also agreed that we will set up smaller working groups and have regular meetings of individual ministries. In the coming days, we will form the teams at the ministries that will be responsible for preparing the information that will be entered in the application,'' added Andreja Katič.
The EU Solidarity Fund aims to complement the efforts of eligible States and to cover part of their public expenditure in order to help them carry out, depending on the type of natural disaster, the following essential emergency and recovery operations:
- restoring the working order of infrastructure and plant in the fields of energy, water and waste water, telecommunications, transport, health and education;
- providing temporary accommodation and funding rescue services to meet the needs of the population concerned;
- securing preventive infrastructure and measures of protection of cultural heritage;
- cleaning up disaster-stricken areas, including natural zones;
- rapidly assisting people affected by a major public health emergency, including providing medical help, and protecting the public against the attendant risks.