Berlin requests flood relief from Brussels | free press


With direct aid, a long-term reconstruction fund and financial support from the EU, the federal government wants to help the regions affected by the flood disaster. In the draft for the meeting of the Federal Cabinet this Wednesday, which our newspaper has received, six resolutions are foreseen.

In total, up to EUR 400 million will be made available through state programs “in the first instance” to bridge personal emergencies and immediately repair damage to buildings and local infrastructure. The federal government participates in each half through corresponding administrative agreements, initially with a maximum of 200 million euros.
Request for help from Brussels

Financial support is also coming from Brussels: “The federal government will ensure that the EU Solidarity Fund also makes a possible contribution to absorbing the flood damage and will submit the necessary applications.” Belgium, also affected by the floods, has already applied for Community aid.

In order not to put an additional burden on the affected states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, the federal government has waived the usual reimbursement of costs incurred by the technical assistance organisation, the federal police and the armed forces when they were deployed in the crisis area, as in previous cases have arisen and continue to arise.
Building permit instead of building permit

The federal government has also committed itself to making a financial contribution to the reconstruction of the damaged or destroyed infrastructure. It wants to “continue to take all necessary measures to restore the federal infrastructure as quickly as possible”, as stated in the bill. The usual bureaucratic procedures should be dispensed with.
It is assumed that the federal, state or local authorities do not need new planning approvals, “but where a renovation on the same site is technically justifiable, a building permit within the framework of the legal possibilities is sufficient”.

The government proposal does not yet mention a concrete amount for long-term reconstruction aid – the previous flood disasters in 2002 and 2013 estimated seven and eight billion euros respectively. Even now, “the federal government is willing to talk about a fund if all states participate in the funding as part of a state-wide solidarity effort”. Corresponding negotiations with the state governments should result in a premier conference on the flood disaster: “This fund solution could be discussed at a special MPK in late July or early August, if the current total damage can be better estimated,” the draft resolution continues.