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Ian Hudghton MEP has supported calls made by Scottish Government Minister Keith Brown to the UK Government, to access the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to aid clean-up efforts following recent flooding episodes across Scotland.
The function of the fund is to provide assistance in the event of a major natural disaster with serious repercussions for living conditions, the natural environment or the economy, and since the establishment of EUSF in 2002, 24 different European countries have been supported for an amount of over €3.7 billion.
An application for funding will only be considered when presented by an EU Member State government, and therefore the Scottish Government is ineligible to apply. In 2007, the UK Government made an application that was approved by the European Commission and it received £118 million.
Scottish Government Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown said:
"We have already activated the Bellwin Scheme, and on Saturday the First Minister announced £12 million in additional support for areas affected by the severe weather.
"Alongside the £4 million announced by Deputy First Minister John Swinney in his budget statement, this takes the total package of support currently available to £16 million.
"But the recent weather events have been unprecedented - and so I have reminded the UK Government that we are part of a European community which can come to the aid of the clean-up operation."
Scots Euro MP Ian Hudghton commented,
"As Keith Brown rightly says the recent weather events have been 'unprecedented' and have affected the North East, Angus, Perthshire, Dumfriesshire and the Borders.
"The Scottish Government has made great efforts to assist communities affected by flooding in Scotland, and it is disappointing that the UK Government has failed to make an application similar to its successful bid in 2007.
"At a time when the UK Government is upsetting Governments across the EU, it is a shame that the UK Government will not apply to the EU for help."