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EU budget for recovery: €2 billion to reinforce rescEU direct crisis response tools

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The Commission proposes today to give the European Union the tools to react more quickly when a serious cross-border emergency such as the coronavirus strikes and affects EU countries at the same time.

To do so, rescEU - part of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism - will be significantly reinforced with €2 billion over 2021-2027. The aim is to create reserves of strategic equipment to cover health emergencies, forest fire outbreaks, chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear incidents or other major emergencies. As such the total budget for the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism will top €3,1 billion.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said: “When the coronavirus hit Europe, there was a lack of many kinds of medical equipment across Member States. Yet the EU did not have the power or the means to offer equipment; we could only encourage cooperation. Citizens expect the EU to act during a crisis. We all need to be better prepared and learn the lessons. rescEU will be massively strengthened to leave no EU country behind during a crisis.”

Under the Commission’s proposal:

The EU will create a reserve of crisis response capacities at EU level that can be mobilised quickly for use in all Member States. This will include medical equipment, medical evacuation planes, field hospitals, firefighting planes and helicopters. For the first time, The EU will be able to directly procure equipment, ensuring a safety net of emergency response assets that can support Member States in overwhelming crisis situations. The EU will fully finance the development and operational costs of rescEU capabilities. The Commission has also proposed a substantial boost of its global humanitarian budget by €5 billion, allocating in total €14,8 billion to better respond to growing needs worldwide in the next EU long term budget 2021-2027.

Publication date 02/06/2020