Friday

24th Nov 2017

EU countries send aid for Bosnia, Serbia floods

  • Helicopter surveys flood damage in Bosnia (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

A dozen EU countries have sent equipment to Bosnia and Serbia to help them deal with “the incredible force of nature” of springtime floods.

EU aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva told press on Monday (19 May) the equipment includes helicopters, boats, tents, water pumps, water purification kits, medicine, food, mountain-going trucks and around 450 disaster relief experts.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

She noted that some landslides have disturbed wartime landmines, posing a threat to people trying to dig out their possessions.

“Houses have been buried … in areas where there is a need for de-mining and the EU will be looking into how to assist with this problem for the local population.”

She warned that while forecasts indicate less rain, sunny weather poses a danger of melting mountain snows.

“The risks [of these kinds of events] are more severe than ever due to climate change,” she added.

The member states offering assistance include: Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; the Czech Republic; Croatia; France; Germany; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Slovenia; and the UK. The US and Russia have also sent help.

Georgieva noted that as an “associate” EU country further down the road to membership, Serbia will be eligible for up to €1 billion in reconstruction money from the European Solidarity Fund, but Bosnia will have to look to “different” EU budget lines.

With Bosnia hamstrung by administrative failures in its normal day-to-day life, she praised the way the country has “mobilised from the bottom-up” to withstand “the incredible force of nature”.

Heavy rainfall in the region began on 13 May, with the two Balkan states formally filing for EU assistance four days later.

The flooding has affected 1 million people in Bosnia and 300,000 in Serbia, with some 500,000 evacuated from their homes and at least 47 killed.

In Serbia, the water also threatens to damage the country’s biggest power plant, the Nikola Tesla complex near Belgrade.

Bosnia is said to have about 120,000 unexploded landmines in more than 9,400 sites dating from its 1992 to 1995 war.

Many of them were buried near river banks and have already killed some 600 people and wounded 1,110 in accidents over the past 20 years.

"Water and landslides have possibly moved some mines and taken away mine warning signs … [people] must be extremely cautious when they start cleaning their houses, land, or gardens as the remaining mud could hide mines and other explosive devices brought by rivers,” Sasa Obradovic, from Bosnia’s Mine Action Centre told AFP.

Bosnia unrest a 'wake-up call' for EU

The UK has said protests in Bosnia are a “wake-up call” for the EU, amid the worst unrest since end of the 1992-1995 war.

Serbia starts EU membership talks

Serbia has officially begun EU membership talks at a ceremony described by its PM as the country's "most important moment" since WWII.

Pakistani women tell flood stories to EU official

The EU has so far spent €9 million out of its €70 million emergency grant for Pakistan. It has also carried out four fact-finding missions to gauge the scale of the disaster, with one official collecting personal testimonies along the way.

Bulgaria calls for West Balkan EU integration after Brexit

The UK leaving the EU gives an opportunity to bring the Western Balkans closer, Bulgaria's PM said in Brussels. Bulgaria will hold the upcoming rotating presidency, while Juncker said Serbia and Montenegro will be EU members by 2025.

Turkey poised for first EU budget cut

"Turkey is going in a direction that is the very opposite of EU standards," Siegfried Muresan, the MEP spearheading the cuts, has said.

EU summit shifts mood on Turkey amid aid cuts

EU leaders at their summit spent some three hours deliberating on relations with Turkey before asking the EU commission to come up with a plan on cutting and reorienting some €4.5 billion in pre-accession aid.

Bulgaria calls for West Balkan EU integration after Brexit

The UK leaving the EU gives an opportunity to bring the Western Balkans closer, Bulgaria's PM said in Brussels. Bulgaria will hold the upcoming rotating presidency, while Juncker said Serbia and Montenegro will be EU members by 2025.

Turkey poised for first EU budget cut

"Turkey is going in a direction that is the very opposite of EU standards," Siegfried Muresan, the MEP spearheading the cuts, has said.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Ministers Pledge to Work More Closely at Nordic and EU Level
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaLaunch of Honorary Council on the Occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit and CEPA
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Leaders Should Press Azerbaijan President to End the Detention of Critics
  4. CECEKey Stakeholders to Jointly Tackle the Skills Issue in the Construction Sector
  5. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  6. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  7. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  8. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  10. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  11. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  12. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!

Latest News

  1. EU awaits UK proposals in final push for Brexit breakthrough
  2. Berlin risks being 'culprit' for stalling EU, warns Green MEP
  3. Eastern partners, eastern problems
  4. Germany's Schulz under pressure to enter coalition talks
  5. LuxLeaks trial re-opens debate on whistleblowers' protection
  6. Wilders says Russia is 'no enemy' ahead of Moscow visit
  7. EU must put Sudan under microscope at Africa summit
  8. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya