BRUSSELS – The Council of the EU has today adopted by written procedure two proposals which amend the EU budget for 2020 in order to free up funds to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Among the provisions of the budget is the €100 million is allocated to supporting reconstruction in Albania in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit the country on 26 November 2019.
“The earthquake which hit Albania on 26 November 2019 caused widespread damage and loss of life. According to the post-disaster needs assessment the value of the damaged physical assests amounts to EUR 844 million. The total recovery needs amount to EUR 1 076 million”, the justification reads.
Following the donors’ conference in Brussels on 17 February 2020, hosted by the President of the Commission, the present Draft amending budget proposes €100 million in commitment appropriations to support reconstruction efforts. €15 million in payment appropriations are also proposed to cover advance payments in 2020 to implementing partners. The remaining payment appropriations will be covered as from the 2021 budget.
Overall commitments in the budget have been increased overall by €3.57 billion and amount to €172.2 billion. Payments have been increased by €1.6 billion, reaching a total of €155.2 billion.
€2.7 billion will be used to fund the provision of emergency healthcare support such as the stockpiling and distribution of essential resources, the creation of temporary hospitals, and the cross-border transportation of patients.
During its plenary on 16-17 April 2020, the European Parliament is expected to agree its position on the two draft amending budget proposals. Once there is an agreement, the budget will be adopted. The European Parliament will also agree its position on the three proposals on the special financial instruments.