The Commission has proposed to give the European Union the tools to react more quickly when a serious cross-border emergency such as the coronavirus strikes and aï¬€ects EU countries at the same time.
To do so, rescEU – part of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism – will be significantly reinforced with â‚¬2 billion over 2021-2027 to create reserves of strategic equipment to cover health emergencies, forest ï¬re outbreaks, chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear incidents or other major emergencies. As such the total budget for the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism will top â‚¬3.1bn.
Crisis Management Commissioner Janez LenarcicÂ said:Â â€œWhen the coronavirus hit Europe, there was a lack of many kinds of medical equipment across member states. Yet the EU did not have the power or the means to offer equipment; we could only encourage cooperation. Citizens expect the EU to act during a crisis. We all need to be better prepared and learn the lessons. rescEU will be massively strengthened to leave no EU country behind during a crisis.â€
Under the Commissionâ€™s proposal:
- The EU will create a reserve of crisis response capacities (including medical equipment, medical evacuation planes, ï¬eld hospitals, ï¬reï¬ghting planes and helicopters) at EU level that can be mobilised quickly for use in all member states.
- The EU will, for the first time, be able to directly procure equipment, ensuring a safety net of emergency response assets that can support Member States in overwhelming crisis situations.
- The EU will fully ï¬nance the development and operational costs of rescEU capabilities.
The Commission has also proposed a substantial boost of its global humanitarian budget by â‚¬5bn, allocating in total â‚¬14.8bn to better respond to growing needs worldwide in the next EU long term budget 2021-2027.
The press conference of CommissionerÂ LenarÄiÄÂ is available onÂ EbS.