Statement by Commissioner Janez Lenarčič: EU measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak and protect people in the EU and throughout the world


With more than 2,600 lives lost already and the epidemics affecting already 28 countries worldwide,
the spread of COVID-19 demands our full attention. This is the time for us to act as a Union.
As the European Emergency Response Coordinator, I am working with other Commissioners, and their
services, in a joined up effort from the beginning of this outbreak.
Being aware how important an integrated approach is, the EU is working on all fronts to protect people
in Europe, but also beyond.
There should be no doubt left – this is a global challenge. It requires cooperation of the entire
international community.
Foremost, however, it also requires coordination of all the sectors inside the countries themselves. This
is why I have also called upon the ministers of health at the latest extraordinary Council meeting that
they too should focus on implementing cross-sectorial cooperation in crisis response at national level.
In this respect, I would like to praise the quick and professional response by the Italian authorities to
the outbreak. Due to our excellent cooperation in EU’s civil protection activities so far I am confident
Italy has experienced people and structures in place that are responding in a well-coordinated manner
in order to protect Italian citizens.
To conclude, EU’s first priority remains the containment of the disease in widely affected areas.
At the same time, our overall efforts are focused on strengthening preparedness. We have initiated
contingency planning on the EU level. We are also providing support for the development of MS’
national contingency crisis measures as we highlighted during the extraordinary health council last
– We are protecting our citizens, both in the most affected regions and in Europe.
– We are supporting the development of vaccine, as well as detection and therapeutics that will
benefit people across the globe.
– We are helping China, still the major epicentre of the epidemics;
Lastly, we are stepping up assistance to countries with weaker health systems, many of which are in
Africa. This too will be one of important issues on our agenda while the Commission meets the African
Union in Addis Ababa later in the week.
In this respect, today, we are announcing over €232 million to help the global fight against COVID-19.
This is a joint contribution of the services under the lead of Commissioners Urpileinen, Gabriel and

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *