The European Commission plans to stock up medical equipment for the treatment of disease COVID-19
The European Commission plans to stock up medical equipment for the treatment of disease COVID-19. The stockpile will include intensive care materials such as ventilators, protective masks and vaccines, said EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic.
Lenarcic added that the Commission would bear 90 % of the costs for the stockpile. The Emergency Response Coordination Centre will manage the distribution of the equipment to ensure it goes where it is needed most. The initial EU budget of the stockpile is €50 million, of which €40 million would first have to be approved by the EU states and the European Parliament. Member States could procure the supplies on a voluntary basis and keep them until needed.
“I don’t expect any difficulties there,” said the Commissioner. Around half a dozen EU countries have already expressed interest. The build-up of these storage facilities will be driven in parallel to the joint procurement of materials in the fight against the virus. The Commission is working on it “at full throttle”.
The stockpile is meant to be part of the EU’s civil protection mechanism. This includes all 27 EU countries as well as Iceland, Norway, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey. Since its inception in 2001, the agency has responded to more than 330 requests for help from inside and outside the EU, according to the Commission.