At least on the financial consequences of the catastrophic floods in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate in July, an agreement was reached fairly quickly.

Immediately after the flood events, the federal government announced that it would finance half of the emergency aid in the two countries concerned (which is urgently needed, for example, for the disposal of the rubbish).

Eckart Lohse

Head of the parliamentary editorial office in Berlin.

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On Tuesday, the federal and state governments agreed at the meeting of the Prime Ministers with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) on a fund for “Development Aid 2021”, which is to be set up as a special federal fund and comprises 30 billion euros. Initially, the federal government intends to contribute to the emergency aid approved by the federal states with a contribution of 400 million euros. However, there is no provision for capping the total.

The 30 billion euros consist on the one hand of 28 billion, which the federal states estimate as the cost of reconstruction. The federal and state governments want to share this sum. In addition, there are two billion, which the federal government alone pays to repair damage to its infrastructure, such as motorways or train tracks. The participation of the totality of all 16 countries is to take place via an "adjustment of the vertical distribution of sales tax revenue over 20 years". The Federal Cabinet wants to pass the necessary legal regulations on financial aid on August 18th.

Regulations and administrative agreements are to be drawn up "immediately" because of the urgently required remedial action.

To make things faster, an exception should be made to the principle of prior approval of measures.

The federal government wants to forego reimbursement of the costs incurred through the deployment of federal forces.

The federal and state governments also want to ensure that the decentralized warning of the population is improved in the event of a disaster.

This includes, in particular, the federal siren funding program.

For this purpose, a total of up to 88 million euros is to be made available to the federal states by 2023.

A bill is currently being drawn up by the federal government for a cell broadcasting system with which warnings are to be distributed via text messages via mobile phones.

According to the will of the Chancellor and the Prime Minister against the background of the flood disaster, the Justice Ministers' Conference is to examine whether the previous assessment of compulsory insurance for natural hazards should be updated.