European responses to the corona crisis – Part 3 (4 April – 10 April)

During the Coronavirus crises, the European Science-Media Hub is collecting and publishing a regular update of the most relevant releases provided by EU institutions and other European and global actors. 🆕 Last Update : 10 April

April 10, 2020 update

ERC President resigns, EUA calls for unity and cooperation as the way forward – During the crisis, it is crucial to continue supporting curiosity-based research, as well as using the many targeted instruments at the disposal of the EU to meet the challenge.


April 9, 2020 update

EUA: Consortia and universities call for wide access to electronic resources amidst Coronavirus crisis  – In a reaction to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and the halt of on-campus operations in Europe and beyond, digital access to scientific research and electronic resources is more important than ever.

IMF: By Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director – Confronting the Crisis: Priorities for the Global Economy

Taiwan’s aid to the EU delivered to Spain and Italy – Taiwan’s donation of masks to the European Union and Member States in the context of the coronavirus pandemic has arrived.

Eurogroup meeting – The Eurogroup agreed on a report on the comprehensive economic policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statement by the President of the European Council Charles Michel following the agreement of the Eurogroup – More than half a trillion Euros are now available to shield European Union countries, workers and businesses.

EP ITRE Committee statement – Data and Artificial Intelligence can help ease lockdowns.

WHPA statement – The World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) that speaks for more than 31 million health professionals worldwide calls on immediate G20 action to secure personal protective equipment for health personnel.


April 8, 2020 update

WHO: New tools launched to help hospitals manage surge in COVID-19 patient – Two new tools launched by WHO will assist health planners across the WHO European Region to prepare for the surge in COVID-19 patients needing acute and intensive care in hospitals.

ECDC Rapid risk assessment– eighth update – Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: increased transmission in the EU/EEA and the UK

Council of Europe: How to protect against falsified medical products? – The Council of Europe calls on governments to be extremely vigilant against counterfeit or falsified medicines and medical products.

EP President Sassoli’s statement on Eurogroup meeting – To EU governments: Rise to the challenge. Find new shared ways to finance our recovery.

EU global response to fight the pandemic – The EU’s collective action will focus on addressing the immediate health crisis and resulting humanitarian needs, strengthening partner countries’ health, water and sanitation systems and their research and preparedness capacities to deal with the pandemic, as well as mitigating the socioeconomic impact.

EU Council gives go-ahead to further use of cohesion resources – The EU is taking further measures to enable cohesion policy money to be focused on tackling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Guidance on allowing limited cooperation among businesses, especially for critical hospital medicines during the coronavirus outbreak – The European Commission has published a Temporary Framework Communication to provide antitrust guidance to companies cooperating in response to urgent situations related to the current coronavirus outbreak.

Creation of the European Research Area (ERA) Corona Platform – The European Commission has launched the European Research Area (ERA) corona platform on the Funding & tenders portal.


April 7, 2020 update

EMA release – Global regulators discuss observational studies of real world data for COVID-19 medicines.

EEAS: Europe’s military and civilians working together against the coronavirus – Tackling the global pandemic requires an unprecedented mobilisation at all levels.

EU Research Ministers: Coordinated research and innovation actions across the EU to reinforce the fight against COVID-19 – More than ever, scientists have become irreplaceable advisors to decision-makers in a number of areas, from health to education and economy.

EU Medical Teams deployed to Italy – A team of European doctors and nurses from Romania and Norway, deployed through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, is being dispatched to Milan and Bergamo to help Italian medical staff working to battle the coronavirus. Austria has also offered over 3,000 litres of disinfectant to Italy via the Mechanism.

European Ombudsman’s statement – Adapting to COVID: Defending the Public Interest in Vaccine and Medical Development.

EP: watch out for online scams and unfair practices – As some online vendors exploit fears around the coronavirus outbreak to peddle fake cures or hike prices, the EU is taking action.

FAO statement – Our hungriest, most vulnerable communities face “a crisis within a crisis”.

EP LIBE Committee statement – Use of smartphone data to manage COVID-19 must respect EU data protection rules.

Mental Health Europe statement – Let’s not forget about people with psychosocial disabilities, now and in the aftermath of COVID-19


April 6, 2020 update

EU-funded mobile labs help tackle coronavirus in Africa – The EU is mobilising a wide-ranging package of resources and programmes to tackle the effects of the pandemic. Amongst these, are EU-funded plans for the use of mobile labs in Africa.

EUROPOL statement – Suspect behind €6 million face masks and hand sanitisers scam arrested thanks to international police cooperation.

MEPs’ letter on disinformation concern – Some MEPs sent a letter to EU leaders to express their concern about disinformation generated by Kremlin. (Politico’s link)

€8 billion unlocked in finance for 100,000 small and medium-sized businesses – The European Commission has unlocked €1 billion from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) that will serve as a guarantee to the European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the European Investment Bank Group.

EU Justice Ministers meeting – Ministers of Justice stressed that any extraordinary measures should be in line with the fundamental values of the EU.

EMA statement – EU authorities agree new measures to support availability of medicines used in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chinese aid to the EU delivered to Italy – The Chinese plane delivered 2 million surgical masks, 200,000 N95 masks and 50,000 testing kits to Italy. Following the direct donation from China to the EU, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre coordinated the distribution to Italy.

European Defence Fund: EU funds new joint research and industrial projects – The Commission is opening calls for proposals to finance up to €160 million in joint defence industrial projects in 2020, and announcing seven new defence research projects selected for more than €23 million of funding under the 2019 budget.

WTO, WCO chiefs pledge joint efforts to facilitate trade in essential goods – The heads of the WTO and WCO issued a joint statement on 6 April pledging to work together to facilitate trade in essential goods such as medical supplies, food, and energy.

EESC: For an urgent and comprehensive European economic recovery plan – The EU’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the need for unprecedented solidarity amongst Member States.

ERC: AI app, part-funded by EU, collects the sounds of COVID-19 – A new mobile phone app, which will be used to collect data to develop machine learning algorithms that could automatically detect whether a person is suffering from COVID-19 based on the sound of their voice, their breathing and coughing, has been launched by researchers at the University of Cambridge. Professor Cecilia Mascolo, who was awarded an €2.5 million European Research Council Advanced Grant in 2019, is leading the development of the new tool.

Member States to accelerate coronavirus relevant products related research – The European Commission extends Temporary Framework to enable Member States to accelerate research, testing and production of coronavirus relevant products, to protect jobs and to further support the economy in the coronavirus outbreak.

ERGA statement – European Regulators call upon European Commission: Systemic importance of media in times of crisis – Extension of the remit of Subgroup 2 on Disinformation and creation of an ERGA Action Group.


April 4, 2020 update

EMA release – EMA provides recommendations on compassionate use of remdesivir for COVID-19.

ECDC Communicable disease threats report, 29 March-4 April 2020, week 14 – The ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR) is a weekly bulletin for epidemiologists and health professionals on active public health threats. This issue covers the period from 29 March-4 April 2020 and includes updates on COVID-19, Ebola virus disease, and influenza.

European Data Protection Board to issue guidance on data processing in the fight against COVID-19 – The European Data Protection Board is speeding up its guidance work in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Its monthly plenary meetings are being replaced by weekly remote meetings with the Members of the Board.

Google: Helping public health officials combat COVID-19 – In Google Maps, Google uses aggregated, anonymized data showing how busy certain types of places are—helping identify when a local business tends to be the most crowded.

EU Foreign Affairs Ministers call for action against disinformation – Foreign Ministers were concerned about misinformation and disinformation. They highlighted the need to continue fighting the negative impact on societies and people’s lives and public health. They also emphasised the need to intensify joint efforts in the fight against disinformation through a close cooperation between EU institutions, member states and social media.

Life under COVID-19: Role of nature for mental and physical well-being – According to the World Health Organization, the lockdown measures will have a negative impact on people’s mental health, but how important is access to the outdoors for one’s well-being?


Link to Part 2 (28 March – 3 April)

Link to Part 1 (12 March – 27 March)

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