European Commission supported the transport of resources to counter Covid-19

Date of posting: 2021-07-12

The emergency support instrument (ESI) assists European Union Member States in their response to the coronavirus pandemic. It addresses needs at European level in a strategic and coordinated manner.

The Emergency Support Instrument is based on the principle of solidarity - joint action and resources to respond rapidly to shared strategic needs. It helps to mitigate the immediate impact of a pandemic and to anticipate further recovery needs.

The Emergency Support Facility provides financial support to:

  • transporting medical supplies to where they are most needed by funding the transport of relief supplies and necessities to and between Member States,
  • transporting patients from one EU country to another or to neighbouring countries to provide treatment to as many people as possible when there is a risk of overloading health facilities,
  • transporting health professionals and mobile medical teams from one EU country to another and to the EU from neighbouring countries to provide medical assistance where it is most needed.

This additional funding complements the resources already made available through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and the supply of protective equipment through the rescEU programme.

From April to September 2020. The Commission provided €150 million in funding for cargo transport for 18 Member States and the UK. With this support, more than 1,000 flights and 500 additional freight shipments were made by land and sea. Life-saving personal protective equipment, tests and medical supplies have been delivered to Europe. This action is the result of call for proposals for fundinga launched by the European Commission on 18 June 2020. The action was preceded by a pilot operation in which more than seven tonnes of PPE were delivered to Bulgaria.

An additional €1 million has already been allocated for the transfer of medical staff and patients. These projects have enabled the transport of 285 medical staff and 34 patients.

In addition to the €150 million used to fund freight transport, a further €70 million was made available from the emergency funds of the mobility package to assist Member States at a time when the global logistics market is experiencing severe disruption. In May 2021. The Commission invited EU countries to request assistance for the transport of equipment related to COVID-19 vaccination and COVID-19 treatment. Part of the remaining budget of the mobility package under the Emergency Support Instrument will be allocated for this purpose. In this case, the Commission will act as a transport broker or provide grants to reimburse the costs of the operation. EU countries can still apply for assistance for the transfer of patients and the transport of medical staff.

The Commission continues to provide financial support to 6 Member States under the mobility package of the Emergency Support Instrument. The support amounts to more than EUR 14 million for the transport of COVID-19 vaccination equipment and COVID-19 therapeutic agents. For example, the mobility package funds the transport of intensive care drugs to Belgium and the transport of syringes and needles to Italy. Other recipients of EU funding include Austria, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovenia. In total, more than 1,000 flights and 500 deliveries have been funded.

The Industrial Development Agency, following the example of numerous institutions from all over Europe, applied for a grant of EUR 2.371 million for 23 transports from China to Poland (13 air transports, 4 rail transports and 6 sea transports). The European Commission granted funding in the full amount requested.

Article in English on the European Commission webpage: Coronavirus: EU supports Member States with transport of essential supplies

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