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EU response to the COVID-19 outbreak

EU response to COVID-19 - infographic with EU institutions
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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a series of measures at the national and EU level.

While decisions to do with equipping hospitals, closing schools or introducing restrictions are for Member States to take, the EU has agreed several supporting measures to help national governments combat the virus.

The speed of the decisions and the multitude of EU bodies involved in this effort mean that it is not always clear who is responsible for what. This can lead to confusion and uncertainty on the part of the public.

It is the European Ombudsman's task to monitor the transparency and accountability of EU institutions but also to help people understand who takes decisions at the EU level and how.

Here is an overview of some of the actions.

Member States

Member States tackle the crisis at the national level and at EU level. At EU level, national ministers in the Council decide together with MEPs in the European Parliament on common measures. These include mobilising EU funds to strengthen healthcare systems.

Latest updates from the Council: https://europa.eu/!rn48cq

EU’s response to the coronavirus on the Parliament’s website : https://europa.eu/!pJ98MR

European Commission

The European Commission coordinates a common EU response and supports national policies.
Examples include:

  • Procurement of medical equipment
  • EU budget flexibility
  • Repatriation of citizens
  • Supporting research

https://europa.eu/!Hv87Rg

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

The ECDC monitors the spread of COVID-19 and provides advice to Member States and the Commission.

https://europa.eu/!Bg49tT

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)

The ECHA supports Member States and industry in addressing disinfectant shortages.

https://europa.eu/!cv68YM

European Medicines Agency (EMA)

EMA checks that vaccines and treatments are safe and effective, and gives industry guidance on how to test.

https://europa.eu/!Vv97qH

Europol

Europol monitors and warns about new crime exploiting the COVID-19 crisis.

https://europa.eu/!Mu74th 

European Central Bank (ECB)

The ECB takes monetary policy measures to support the Eurozone economy.

https://europa.eu/!Rr46Bm

European Investment Bank (EIB)

The EIB provides financial support for SMEs.

https://www.eib.org/en/about/initiatives/covid-19-response/