A stock, in order to enable all EU Member States to quickly obtain the supplies needed to fight coronavirus, has been activated by the European Commission through the project “rescEU”. It will include a stockpile in common of emergency medical supplies, which will be stored in one or more Member States. The stock will hold, among other things, medical equipment aimed at ICU such as ventilators, DPIs, reusable masks, vaccines, therapeutic substances and, finally, laboratory supplies.
RescEU is part of the so-called “protocol for EU’s civil protection”, which aims to promote cooperation among the participating States, and plays a crucial role in coordinating the response to disasters in Europe and other parts of the world. The purpose is to improve the prevention, the preparation and the response to disasters. Inside this big community “package” are already provided planes and helicopters for forest firefighting. The Member States that are willing to host RescEU will be able to request a direct subsidy provided by the European Commission from today on, whose intervention will add up to 90% of the cost. The remaining 10% shall be borne by the Member State.
The distribution of the equipments will be managed by the Centre of coordination of response to disasters, which will evaluate the delivery where the need is the greatest. 50 million euros have been allocated for the intervention, 40 of which must be approved by the budgetary authorities.
At the moment, all EU Member States contribute to the protocol of civil protection, as well as Iceland, Norway, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey. Since its inception in 2001, this protocol has successfully completed more than 330 requests for assistance inside and outside EU.