Infographic - The EU’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic


Key areas of action against COVID-19

  • Limiting the spread of the virus
  • Ensuring provision of medical equipment
  • Promoting research for treatments and vaccines
  • Supporting jobs, businesses and the economy
  • Helping EU citizens stranded abroad
  • Fighting disinformation

Limiting the spread of the virus

  • Temporary closure of EU's external borders with restriction of non-essential travel to the EU 
  • Border management: introduction of ‘green lanes’ for essential goods  
  • Risk assessments for EU population by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC)
  • Weekly coordination between EU, experts and member states through Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR)

Ensuring provision of medical equipment

The EU enabled EU countries to participate in joint public procurement tenders for:

  • protective gear
  • ventilators 
  • testing kits

The EU has ensured via its EU civil protection mechanism:

  • deployment of medical teams and delivery of supplies to countries in need
  • a new common European reserve of emergency medical equipment
  • 24/7 support coordination by the Emergency Response Coordination Centre 

The EU has also coordinated with European industry to increase production, and regulated the export of key supplies from the EU to third countries.

Promoting research for treatments and vaccines

  • Research funds and financial support to develop treatments and vaccines
  • Funding for SMEs and startups for innovative solutions 
  • COVID-19 data platform for rapid collection and sharing of available research data

Supporting jobs, businesses and the economy

EU immediate support package

The EU has put forward a €540 billion support package for jobs and workers, businesses and member states.

It consists of:

  • €100 billion - Support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency (SURE)
  • €200 billion - Pan-European guarantee fund for loans to companies (European Investment Bank)
  • €240 billion - Pandemic crisis support for member states (European Stability Mechanism)

Use of the EU budget

  • €3.1 billion - Amendment to the EU’s 2020 budget for crisis response
  • €37 billion - Cohesion funds for Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative 
  • €800 million - EU Solidarity Fund extended to public health crises

Flexibility in EU rules

  • State aid measures are authorised to provide support for businesses and workers
  • The general escape clause in the EU's fiscal rules is triggered to accommodate increased national spending
  • Structural funds regulations are amended to enable transfers between funds and regions

Monetary policy

€750 billion: European Central Bank pandemic emergency purchase programme.

Helping EU citizens stranded abroad

More than 500,000 EU citizens have already been repatriated from third countries.

Fighting disinformation

The EU aims at countering disinformation narratives on the virus with transparent, timely and fact-based communication.

For a full overview of the EU's response to COVID-19 see also:

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