Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Coronavirus: EU industry steps in to protect European citizens

Coronavirus: EU industry steps in to protect European citizens
Published on: 26/05/2020
European companies have quickly responded to this crisis. They have shown extraordinary solidarity to face the pandemic together in order to protect the health of European citizens. Many companies across Europe retooled and revamped their production to meet the demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), disinfectants and medical devices.

Today, the Commission published a factsheet and an interactive tool collecting stories of companies manufacturing vital products to combat the virus across Europe.

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “I want to wholeheartedly thank companies for converting their production facilities to promptly help Europeans to access the protective equipment to keep them safe. The Commission is facilitating this either through what is in our power, or through coordination work with our Member States. We will overcome this crisis only if we work together. In this effort our industry plays a crucial role.”

From distilleries to textile companies, industry has put its know-how at the service of citizens to produce, for instance, masks, protective gowns, hand sanitisers and ventilators. Over the last months, the Commission has taken actions in order to create the right conditions for industry to ramp up or retool production, including asking the European Standards Organisations to make standards for facemasks and other protective equipment freely available to all interested parties.

In addition, to accelerate the approval of essential products, and to help companies adapt their production lines, the Commission published guidance with practical Q&As in the areas of Personal protective equipment (PPE), leave-on hand cleaners and hand disinfectants, and 3D printing.