Opinion Factsheet  

A European policy on the seismic requalification of buildings and infrastructure

BGCSDADEELENESETFIFRHRHUITLTLVMTNLPLPTROSKSLSV
Opinion Number: CDR 1036/2017
Rapporteur: SANTARSIERO Vito
Commission: NAT
Status: Adopted
Date: 11/10/2017
 
to promote coordination and cooperation on European level
to promote disaster prevention measures that can save lives and livelyhoods
to achieve and promote a common EU policy on seismic requalification of buildings
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

 proposes that provision be made for the parameters that determine a territory's seismic risk, and by analogy risks from other natural disasters, assessed according to well-defined criteria, to be considered among the criteria for distributing ESI funds between the regions of Europe; stresses that the EU must require all infrastructure built using ESI funds or any other EU fund to be disaster-resistant;

 considers that an action plan proposed by the European Commission could be a suitable tool for further promoting the seismic requalification of existing buildings as a priority in the Member States' regional development operational programmes.

 notes that recent research on seismic risk in Europe (such as the FP7-funded SHARE project), while confirming that the highest levels of seismic risk concern countries such as Italy, Greece and Romania, also points to moderate levels for certain areas of countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Portugal, including the risk from tsunamis;

 points out that comprehensive seismic risk prevention measures are a primary requirement for the EU, in order to protect the safety of its citizens, conserve its historical and cultural heritage, limit spending arising from harm to people and things and maintain the conditions for territorial development and investment for growth;

 recognises that while a seismic requalification programme requires significant resources and is particularly costly in regions and Member States at higher and more widespread risk of earthquakes, it also contributes to employment and economic growth, particularly in terms of reinvigorating the construction market;

 notes that widespread requalification of public and private buildings is already under way in European countries in order to ensure greater energy efficiency, financed in part from European funds, but that such work does not generally address the issue of structural and earthquake safety;

Importance

High
Medium
Low
 

Joint CoR-UNISDR high-level policy event "Disaster Risk Management in European Regions - Towards Reducing the Number of Affected People"

The high-level conference will take into account also the conclusions of fact-finding mission of the CoR to Italy that took place on 25 and 26 May 2017 in the four Italian regions hit by multiple earthquakes in 2016 and 2017. It will look into concrete measures including an exchange of good practices and funding available at EU level, and focus on preventive measures targeted at saving lives and livelihoods in possible future disasters.

The CoR-UNISDR action plan seeks to translate the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 into ideas for local and regional governments by engaging both institutions to strengthen the implementation and coordination of disaster risk reduction actions at local level in Europe. The Plan also foresees a joint event in Brussels on the International Day for Disaster Reduction, whose theme in 2017 is Sendai Target (b): Substantially reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030, aiming to lower the average global figure per 100,000 between 2020-2030 compared to 2005-2015.

Furthermore, building resilience has been proposed as one of the main themes for the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC) in October 2017, a traditional annual event co-organised by the European Committee of the Regions and the European Commission.

 
12 Oct
 

Meeting with EP Budget Committee Vice-Chair Mr. Muresan

Mr Snatarsiero and his expert Mr Masi met on 12 July with the vice-chair of the EP Budget Committee to discuss possible EU policy on seismic prevention.

 
12 Jul
 

Policy discussion with DG REGIO, DG ECHO and DG RTD

In the morning of 12 July the rapporteur participated in a policy discussion jointly organised by the NAT secretariat, the services of the European Commission and Prof Masi. The EC services represented by experts were the directorates general for regional policy (REGIO), humanitarian aid and civil protection (ECHO) and research (via JRC). The subject of the discussion was the development of a common EU policy on seismic requalification of buildings and preventive measures to save lives and livelyhoods from Earthquakes and other natural disasters.

 
12 Jul
 

Presentation of Draft Opinion in European Parliament

CoR Rapporteur Santarsiero presented the draft opinion on "A EU Policy on Seismic Requalification of Buildings" in the European Parliament. Members of the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions took part in the discussion in the presence of Mr. Nicola De Michelis, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Corina Crețu (Regional Policy)

 
11 Jul
 

Solidarity with Italy: €1.2 billion of EU funds to support reconstruction works after the earthquakes

The Commission proposes to mobilise €1.2 billion under the EU Solidarity Fund, the highest sum ever mobilised in a single instalment, following the earthquakes of 2016 and 2017 in the Italian regions of Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche and Umbria.

The EU Solidarity Fund will support reconstruction operations and regenerate economic activity in the affected regions. The money can also be used to cover the costs of emergency services, temporary accommodations and clean-up operation, and of protection measures for cultural heritage sites, in order to relieve the financial burden borne by the Italian authorities at the time.

A first disbursement of aid worth €30 million was already released in December 2016. The proposed aid now has to be approved by the European Parliament and by the Council.

 
21 Jun
 

European Parliament adopts agreement for allocation of ERDF funding to regions hit by disasters

On Tuesday 13 June, the European Parliament adopted by a large majority (625 votes for, 5 against, 28 abstentions), the agreement struck during the inter-institutional negotiations on the regulation on common provisions (regulation 1303/2013) to amend the modalities for allocating the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to regions devastated by natural disasters. Therefore, the rate of co-financing from the EU is now set at 95%, to the great disappointment of the European Commission, which wanted 100% (see EUROPE 11795). A 5% ceiling on total ERDF allocations was set in an effort to prevent abuse of the ERDF by the regions. The starting date of eligibility of expenditure of beneficiaries will have retroactive effect in order to allow for the eligibility of expenditure incurred and paid from the date when the natural disaster occurred. The regulation will apply retroactively from 1 January 2014.

 
13 Jun
 

Draft opinion adopted at the NAT commission meeting

The rapporteur presented his draft opinion to the members of the NAT commission. The opinion was adopted by majority.

 
01 Jun
 

Fact-Finding Field Visit of the Conference of Presidents and the NAT Commission to Central Italy

The COP / NAT Field Visit to Central Italy, regions affected by the earthquakes took place on 25 to 26 May 2017.

The towns visited were Compotosto in Abruzzo; Peascara del Tronto, Amandola, Cosmari in Marche; Norcia in Umbria; Amatrice in Lazio.

BBC News report

 
25 May
 

Field visit to Central Italy

A delegation of 9 CoR Members including CoR President Markku Markkula and CoR Vice-President Karl Heinz-Lambertz visited the four regions affected by the earthquakes.

In 2016 and 2017, Central Italy was hit by violent seismic activity, concentrated in the regions of Umbria, Lazio, Abruzzo and Marche. This was the largest series of tremors since 2009, when an earthquake near L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region killed over 300 people and displaced over 60 000. Four major earthquakes struck Central Italy again near L'Aquila on 18 January 2017.

Ansa.it news report

Ansa.Marche news report

Terremoto: Comitato Europeo Regioni in visita ai luoghi dei sisma

CoR news

CoR news

La Voce del territorio

Umbria Domani

 
25 May
 

Objectives of the Field Visit to the regions affected by earthquakes

The objectives of the field visit were to show political support for the affected regions; to exchange best practices: to receive information on the state of play and the strategy for managing the impact of the earthquakes by each region, with a view to translating this into policy recommendations and to receive information on the Italian civil protection mechanism.

TG 3 video report

TGRAI video report

TERREMOTO: D'Alfonso, delegazione comitato europeo delle Regioni, in visita a Campotosto

SISMA CENTRO ITALIA: COMITATO REGIONI UE A CAMPOTOSTO; D'ALFONSO ''PIU' RISORSE

 
25 May
 

Working document discussion at the NAT Commission meeting

The rapporteur presented his working document to the members of the NAT commission.

 
30 Mar
Share: