In a pilot operation involving the European Union’s Emergency Support Instrument, seven tons of personal protective equipment (PPE) arrived in Bulgaria on June 18, with transport costs covered by the EU.
The cargo includes 500 000 protective masks purchased by Bulgaria, the European Commission said.
EU countries can now apply for additional funding via the Emergency Support Instrument to transport essential goods, medical teams and patients affected by the coronavirus, the Commission said.
This comes in addition to support already available via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and deliveries of protective equipment through rescEU.
“The Emergency Support Instrument helps get vital health equipment to where it is needed, and supports member states in the transport of medical personnel or in welcoming patients from other member states demonstrating European solidarity,” European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said.
“After the successful shipment to Bulgaria of protective equipment, more operations will follow in the next weeks,” Lenarčič said.
A total of 220 million euro has been made available through the Emergency Support Instrument to transport goods, equipment and patients.
The European Commission presented to EU countries on June 17 the procedures and criteria to apply for funding under the Mobility Package. Member states can now submit their applications to the European Commission, the statement said.
The Emergency Support Instrument, with a budget of 2.7 billion euro, was activated on April 16 2020.
The instrument is designed to give the flexibility needed to respond to the evolving needs as the EU moves from the immediate response phase to the pandemic to the managed exit, recovery and prevention phases. It targets actions where shared efforts at EU level can deliver the most impact in support of the Joint European Roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures.
The ESI is a complementary instrument to other EU instruments such as the Civil Protection Mechanism, rescEU, the Joint Procurement Procedures and the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, as well as EU countries’ national efforts.
(Photo: Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry press centre)
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Section supported by the Embassy of Switzerland