During these times of crisis, countries, regions and cities across the European Union are stretching out a helping hand to fellow EU citizens. Assistance is being given to those most in need through
- donations of protective equipment such as masks
- medical teams
- cross-border treatments of ill patients
- bringing stranded EU citizens home
This is European solidarity at its best.
The European Commission, through its Emergency Response Coordination Centre, provides assistance upon request, such as
- coordinating and co-financing the delivery of personal protective equipment and other assistance
- repatriation flights to bring back stranded citizens from outside Europe
- the transport of medical teams from one country to another
EU Civil Protection Mechanism
Through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the European Union is helping coordinate and finance the delivery of medical equipment and related items (protective facemasks, gowns, gloves, goggles, overalls and disinfectant and other products) across Europe and the world, to countries that have sought assistance.
The European Commission coordinated and co-financed deliveries of over 15 million items of medical supplies to almost 30 countries in Europe and worldwide, via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. In addition to its coordinating role, the EU finances 75% of the transport costs of the dispatched assistance.
|October and November 2020|
COVAX: global vaccination
A sustainable path out of the COVID-19 pandemic in the EU depends on progress at the global level. No country or region in the world will be safe from COVID-19 unless it is contained globally.
The EU and its Member States are leading investment in the global COVAX Facility and are establishing a coordinated European approach to vaccine sharing by setting up an EU Vaccine Sharing Mechanism to help partner countries overcome the pandemic.
The European approach to vaccine sharing will help neighbouring and partner countries overcome the pandemic. It comes on top of the €2.2 billion EU investment from Team Europe (Commission, Member States and European Investment Bank) in COVAX.
A map of vaccines delivered so far is available.
On 19 February 2021, the European Union, in partnership with the World Health Organisation, launched a new regional project worth over €7 million to support the safe and effective vaccination of the population of the Western Balkans.
rescEU – a common reserve of medical equipment
On 19 March 2020, the European Commission created a strategic rescEU capacity – a common European reserve – of emergency medical equipment, such as ventilators, protective masks, gloves and laboratory supplies to help EU countries face the coronavirus pandemic.
The Commission finances 100% of the capacity (including the procurement, maintenance and the delivery costs), which is hosted by several Member States and is constantly replenished.
Germany and Romania were the first Member States to host the rescEU reserve, followed by Denmark, Greece, Hungary and Sweden in September. In January 2021, Belgium, the Netherlands and Slovenia became new host countries for rescEU medical supplies, while a second medical supply will be hosted by Germany.
The rescEU stockpile supplies now include
- over 65 million medical masks and 15 million FFP2 and FFP3 masks
- over 280 million pairs of medical gloves
- almost 20 million medical gowns and aprons
- several thousand oxygen concentrators and ventilators
The hosting States are responsible for procuring the equipment with the support of the Commission. The Emergency Response Coordination Centre manages the distribution of the equipment to ensure it goes where it is most needed.
Over 1.3 million FFP2 and FFP3 protective facemasks from the rescEU medical reserve were delivered to Italy (142,000), Spain (173,000), Croatia (65,000), Lithuania (20,000), Montenegro (140,000) and North Macedonia (255,000) and Serbia (510,000).
Serbia also received 270,000 pairs of gloves, 48,000 protective overalls with foot protection, and 5,500 goggles. Additionally, 600,000 FFP2 masks and 650,000 pairs of gloves were delivered to Serbia in February 2021 from the rescEU medical equipment reserve hosted in Greece.
Additionally, protective gowns and overalls were also distributed to Montenegro (30,000 gowns) and North Macedonia (70,000 gowns and 140,000 overalls). On 22 October 2020, the first batch of 30 rescEU ventilators was delivered to the Czech Republic, followed by another 120 ventilators from Austria and the Netherlands, as well as 30 high-flow oxygen therapy devices delivered on 24 October 2020.
On 10 February 2021, additional medical supplies were dispatched from the rescEU medical equipment stockpile hosted in Greece: Montenegro and North Macedonia received gloves, masks, protective overalls, as well as 15,000 PCR test kits each, beds, blankets and towels from Slovakia. Germany sent hand and surface disinfectant to Serbia, and Czechia provided masks, gloves and ventilators to Moldova.
The rescEU reserve is constantly replenished and deliveries take place regularly, based on the needs of the participating countries.
Assistance within the EU
Assistance outside the EU
Team Europe continues delivering assistance to support partner countries’ efforts in tackling the coronavirus pandemic. Team Europe combines resources from the European Union, its Member States and the European financial institutions. By 1 January 2021, Team Europe had already allocated over €26 billion to over 130 partner countries around the world:
- €3.2 billion were spent on addressing humanitarian needs.
- €3.5 billion were spent on strengthening health, water and sanitation systems.
- €19.5 billion were spent on mitigating the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic.
At the Global Health Summit in Rome, on 21 May 2021, President von der Leyen announced that ‘Team Europe' would share with low and middle-income countries at least 100 million doses by the end of 2021, mainly via COVAX. Team Europe (the EU, its institutions and all 27 Member States) is on track to exceed this initial goal, with 200 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 foreseen to be shared with the countries that need them most, by the end of 2021.
Helping stranded citizens to get home
The Commission has helped Member States to coordinate assistance and consular repatriation operations of EU citizens from across the world.