The European Commission is to co-ordinate an EU-wide analysis of the effects of the outbreak on European industry and businesses, European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said.
“The impact on tourism and air transport is already being felt. And this is only the beginning,” Breton told a February 27 meeting of the Competitiveness Council, the Commission said.
About 250 000 Chinese travellers did not travel between January and February, which represents a loss of two million overnight stays. European carriers will also be affected, the statement said.
Breton has asked EU countries to send aggregated data on the impact on supply chains.
He and the ministers in charge of industry will meet again in a month’ time, at the next informal Competitiveness Council in Croatia, to look at the results.
If needed, a formal council meeting could be then solely dedicated to this issue in the following weeks. Meanwhile, they will remain in close contact, the Commission said.
The European Commission, together with the EU member states, is also accelerating the process of the joint procurement of protective equipment, in order to facilitate necessary access to personal protective equipment needed by EU countries in order to minimise potential shortages, the Commission said.
“As Italy has activated the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism, requesting protective face masks, the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre is now working 24/7 and has relayed the request to all member states to mobilise offers of assistance,” the statement said.