Today, Denmark, Greece, Hungary and Sweden have joined Germany and Romania as host states of the rescEU medical equipment reserve. With financial support from the European Commission now altogether 6 EU Member States are building up common European stocks of lifesaving protective and other vital medical equipment that can be distributed across Europe at times of medical emergencies, for example when national health systems are overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.
”With winter approaching and coronavirus cases increasing across Europe, building up stocks of critical medical equipment is crucial. With the further host states, rescEU is stepping up a gear. We will be much stronger in fighting the pandemic by working together,” said Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič.
The high grade medical stocks now include FFP2 and FFP3 masks, protective gowns gloves, as well as ventilators
How the rescEU medical reserve works
The rescEU capacity can include different types of medical equipment, such as protective masks or medical ventilators used in intensive care, and is constantly replenished. The reserve is hosted by several Member States who are responsible for procuring the equipment. The European Commission finances 100% of the assets, including storage and transport.
The Emergency Response Coordination Centre then manages the distribution of the equipment to ensure it goes where it is needed most, based on the needs expressed by countries requesting EU assistance under the Union Civil Protection Mechanism.
The strategic medical capacity is part of the wider rescEU reserve, including other capacities such as aerial firefighting means and medical evacuation capacities. The rescEU reserve constitutes the last resort layer of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, which can be activated for all type of natural and man-made hazards. EU Member States, the UK (during the transition period), Iceland, Norway, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey participate in the Union Civil Protection Mechanism.