The COVID-19 crisis is of such a scale that no country can address it successfully alone. The European Union has agreed a series of unprecedented measures to support member states in tackling the pandemic. These include:
- €3.08 billion in emergency support will be provided for the healthcare sector across the EU, these funds will help to procure and distribute medical supplies across the EU, construct mobile field hospitals, and support the transportation of medical equipment and patients in cross-border regions.
- All uncommitted money from the European Social Fund (ESF) can now be mobilised to address the effects of the crisis through the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative and the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus.
- The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived can now be used to buy protective equipment for those delivering aid. It is also possible for food and basic material assistance to be delivered through vouchers, lowering risks of infection.
- REACT-EU will provide an additional €55 billion for the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the European Fund for Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD).
- The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has been allocated €3.6 million to assess and communicate threats to human health from communicable diseases.
- Changes to the Common Agricultural Policy and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund will provide more flexibility and allow Ireland to introduce measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the farming and seafood sectors.
- An extra €45 million to help Member States repatriate EU nationals stranded abroad.
- The Commission’s SURE instrument protects jobs and people at work.
- Liquidity measures to help hard-hit small and medium businesses.
- The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) continues to provide supports to workers who have been made redundant and self-employed people whose activity has ceased.
These measures are only a snapshot of what the EU is doing to help Member States tackle the effects of the pandemic. More information is available at:
The EU's Coronavirus Response Factsheet is available here.
The latest information on how Ireland is responding to COVID-19 can be found here.