The European Commission said on Thursday (March 19) that it will establish a repository of masks, a large number of nursing equipment and other important medical equipment to address shortages in member states.
The relocation was in a case where the European Union countries with coronavirus outbreak centers actually addressed the lack of necessary medical equipment
"The power and speed of this virus surprised the world," Janez Lenarcic, EU crisis management commissioner, told reporters.
The commission will put the most needed products on the market from a brand new reserve according to "objective criteria"
It is a complement to another tool, that is, a member state in question can ask other member states for assistance in the civil defense system. Italy and more recently Spain have actually called for assistance within the system.
"We are together, we must do constructive work and seek solutions," Lenasic said.
Under the new reserve strategy, a member country must voluntarily purchase and purchase specific equipment
This will be almost funded by the European Union (up to 90%), after which it is expected that the member state will provide only a small amount of funds.
Prepared stocks will be made of medical equipment (such as ventilators), personal protective equipment ( Such as recyclable masks, therapies and vaccines) and laboratory products.
Lenasic said that actually "twelve" member states have expressed interest in participating in the program.
An EU official stated that the reserve fund may now be operational next week.
The European Union's preliminary planned inventory budget is 50 million euros, of which 40 million euros will have to be approved by the European Union federal government.
The Commissioner pointed out that there are "objective conditions" around the world and the EU "general lack of personal protective equipment"
The greatest manufacturers are still in China and Asia. Market commissioner Thierry Breton has actually been dealing with European manufacturers to increase production. Some parts of production also come from other parts of the world.
European manufacturers need a little time to expand or transform their production. An EU official said: "The situation is changing and the virus is still spreading."
EU countries have actually criticized each other, after many countries such as Germany banned the export of medical products.
The German Ministry of Economic Affairs stated on Wednesday that it had actually provided export licenses for the export of protective gear to Italy, Switzerland and Austria. 400,000 protective masks were actually delivered to Italy on Thursday by Germany.
"Export bans within the EU undermine both the basic solidarity of the EU and mechanisms such as civil protection mechanisms," Lenarcic
Ursula (von der Leyen) said on Wednesday that in order to assist the European response, China actually sent 2.2 million masks and 50,000 inspection tables to the EU.
In fact, the European Commission also started joint procurement of masks and other protective equipment earlier this month.