The EU Civil Protection Mechanism aims at enhancing cooperation between its Member and Participating States in the prevention, preparedness and response to emergencies. During the coronavirus pandemic, the Mechanism is active in coordinating offers in response to countries’ requests for assistance.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism has facilitated a response to requests from 19 EU Member States and the UK for consular assistance to repatriate more than 82,000 stranded EU citizens back to the EU. 10 Member/Participating States have requested EU assistance to receive personal protective or medical equipment, and medical teams.
As part of the Mechanism, the rescEU reserve – initially focused on forest fires, medical emergencies and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) events – has been broadened to include strategic medical equipment to help Member States in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. The principle is to have a common European emergency reserve that Member States can resort to depending on their needs by making requests through the Mechanism.
A budget of €380 million has been made available for the establishment of this network of strategic stockpiles at EU level. 6 countries (Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania and Sweden) are hosting these rescEU stockpiles, which are 100% financed by the European Commission. The EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre manages the requests through the Mechanism to ensure that the equipment goes where it is needed most.
Text: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, 2020