European responses to the corona crisis – Part 11

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 : 19 June

June 18, 2020 update

EU: Funding for the transport of medical goods, medical teams and patients – European Union countries can now apply for additional funding via the Emergency Support Instrument to transport essential goods, medical teams and patients affected by the coronavirus.

EU: Support for Central African Republic with €54 million to limit socio-economic risks – An EU grant €54 million to the Central African Republic has been decided to help the government shore up public expenditure negatively affected by the fight against the virus.

June 17, 2020 update

EU: Supports for a regional response to the pandemic in the Horn of Africa with €60 million – The programme will focus on vulnerable groups, including migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons and cross-border communities and deliver medical equipment, including more than 8.5 million items of personal protective equipment. It will also help ensure borders and critical supply chains are safe for trade and promote digital solutions to monitor the crisis.

European Commission: EU vaccines strategy – European strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing and deployment of vaccines against COVID-19.

European Commission: Update of Horizon 2020 Work Programme to support coronavirus research and innovation – The Work Programme update makes it possible to use €641 million, which is already part of the €1 billion pledge, through internal budget redeployment within Horizon 2020. It uses budget not yet allocated in the Horizon 2020 work programmes as well as reflows from financial instruments.

State aid to Poland, Cyprus, Slovakia, Italy – The European Commission approves €9 million Polish scheme to support companies active in the primary agricultural sector affected by coronavirus outbreak, modified €25 billion Italian guarantee scheme to support self-employed workers, SMEs and mid-caps affected by coronavirus outbreak, €1.8 million Cypriot scheme to support farmers active in the primary agricultural sector affected by the coronavirus outbreak, €200 million Slovak rent compensation scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

June 15, 2020 update

European Commission: Launch of a website to safely resume travelling and tourism in the EU – ‘Re-open EU’ is a web platform to support a safe relaunch of travelling and tourism across Europe. It will provide real-time information on borders and available means of transport and tourism services in Member States.

EEA: Shaping Post-Corona Planet: Knowledge on Europe’s environment and climate – What should a post-corona planet look like? How did corona measures impact the environment and climate? Can we rebuild our economy on a sustainable and fair foundation? As we take small steps towards rebuilding society and economy, we are faced with fundamental choices to shape the future. This portal aims to bring together knowledge and reflections from across Europe and beyond, and facilitate an informed debate towards a sustainable planet.

June 12, 2020 update

DG RTD: High-level expert group advises on a powerful transformative European research and innovation policy in support of the coronavirus recovery – In their first Policy Brief “Protect, prepare, and transform Europe: Recovery and resilience post Covid-19”, the independent expert group on the Economic and Societal Impact of Research and Innovation (ESIR) provides advice on the transformative research and innovation policy needed to support a more resilient and sustainable Europe.

June 11, 2020 update

European Reference Network: Consultation to collect clinicians’ views to prepare for a possible COVID-19 second wave – The European Commission invites all interested healthcare professionals to take part in the Survey to give their feedback on the measures that could be taken by the Commission to reinforce the EU response and to better prepare the healthcare systems for the second wave of Covid-19 pandemics or any future pandemics.

European Commission: Communication on the third assessment of the application of the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU

EIB release – Investment Plan for Europe: European Investment Bank to provide BioNTech with up to €100 million in debt financing for COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing

EP Policy department briefing – Mitigating the employment and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

State aid to Hungary, Portugal, Finland, Cyprus, Sweden – The European Commission approves €155 million Hungarian “umbrella” direct grant scheme to support the economy in the coronavirus outbreak, €1.2 billion Portuguese urgent liquidity support to TAP in the coronavirus outbreak, €286 million Finnish measure to recapitalise Finnair in the coronavirus outbreak, €33 million Cypriot scheme deferring payment of VAT to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak, €3.7 billion Swedish scheme to compensate companies for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

June 10, 2020 update

HR/VP Borrell :EU strengthens action to tackle disinformation – The coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by a massive wave of false or misleading information, including attempts by foreign actors to influence EU citizens and debates. The Joint Communication analyses the immediate response and proposes concrete action that can be quickly set in motion.

Response to disinformation around COVID-19: Remarks by HR/VP Borrell at the Read-out of the College meeting – disinformation in times of the coronavirus can kill. Misleading health information, consumer fraud, cybercrime or targeted disinformation campaigns by foreign actors pose several potential risks to our citizens, their health and their trust in public institutions

European Commission: €55 million support package for Syrian refugees to mitigate coronavirus pandemic. – The EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis has mobilised an additional €55 million for refugees from Syria and vulnerable persons in Jordan and Lebanon to fight the pandemic.

OECD: Latest Global Economic Outlook – The global outlook is highly uncertain. The Outlook focuses on two equally probable scenarios – one in which a second wave of infections, with renewed lock-downs, hits before the end of 2020, and one in which another major outbreak is avoided.

FAO: Emerging data suggest COVID-19 is driving up hunger in vulnerable countries – Urgent action required to stem crises, FAO Director-General tells UN High-Level meeting.

June 8, 2020 update

European Commission: €314 million to innovative companies to combat the virus and support recovery – The Commission awarded nearly €166 million, via the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Pilot, to 36 companies set to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, over €148 million will be granted to another 36 companies set to contribute to the recovery plan for Europe, bringing the total investment from Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, to €314 million in this round.

June 6, 2020 update

Borrell and Breton: For a united, resilient and sovereign Europe – HRVP Josep Borrell and the Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton publish an article in several European media on the EU’s reaction to the Coronavirus crisis and the lessons learned.

State aid to France, Ireland, Czechia, Poland – The European Commission approves €5 billion French “umbrella” scheme to support research, development, testing infrastructures and production of coronavirus relevant products, €250 million Irish scheme to support micro and small companies affected by coronavirus outbreak in restarting their activities, €200 million Irish scheme to support research and development, testing and production of coronavirus-relevant products, €36.3 million Czech scheme to support SMEs in the primary agricultural sector affected by coronavirus outbreak, €184 million Czech rent compensation scheme to support businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak, € 1.6 billion Polish scheme to compensate companies for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak and provide liquidity support

June 5, 2020 update

Commissioner Kyriakides answering MEP question on European response mechanism to public health threats – Is the Commission working to create a European response mechanism to public health emergencies that is dynamic, can be adapted to different crises and allows cross-sectorial development for a concerted and effective response to mitigate the impact of these situations, promoting stability and economic and social growth as well as citizens’ well-being?

UNWTO: One planet vision for one planet vision for a responsible recovery of a responsible recovery of the tourism sector – UNWTO announced its new vision for global tourism: growing better, stronger, and balancing the needs of people, planet and prosperity.

ECHA: EU Member States report illegal and ineffective disinfectants – Several EU countries have signalled to ECHA and the European Commission that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased number of non-compliant (hand) disinfectants on the market. National enforcement authorities are taking action to protect citizens from the risks of illicit and ineffective products.

June 4, 2020 update

Coronavirus Global Response: European Commission pledges €300 million to Gavi – The European Commission announced a pledge of €300 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for the period 2021–2025. It will help immunise 300 million children around the world and finance vaccine stockpiles to shield against outbreaks of infectious diseases.

ECB: Increasing the envelope for the pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) by €600 billion to a total of €1,350 billion – In response to the pandemic-related downward revision to inflation over the projection horizon, the PEPP expansion will further ease the general monetary policy stance, supporting funding conditions in the real economy, especially for businesses and households.

EP IPOL briefing: The economy and coronavirus- Weekly Picks – This paper provides a summary of some recent estimates and analyses of the economic and financial effects of the coronavirus, an overview of the grants component included it the Commission’s proposal for a new EU recovery and resilience facility, and some policy recommendations made in the public domain to mitigate the negative economic effects of the pandemic.

European Commissioner Věra Jourová: Speech – On countering disinformation amid COVID-19 “From pandemic to infodemic”.

June 3, 2020 update

European Commission: EUvsVirus Matchathon – 2235 new partnerships for scaling up 120 innovative projects to tackle coronavirus challenges

June 2, 2020 update

JRC: Coronavirus testing: information on test devices and methods in a single place – As part of EU efforts to provide guidance on the use of coronavirus tests, the JRC has created a database of COVID-19 in vitro diagnostic devices and test methods that gathers information on available tests in one place.

Consult older ESMH articles on the European responses to the corona crisis

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