Solidarity: how EU countries help each other fight Covid-19

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Across the European Union, countries, regions and cities are stretching out a helping hand to neighbours, helping those most in need.

Covid-19: solidarity among EU neighbours 

From donating ventilators to taking in critical patients, EU countries are doing their best to help each other in the corona crisis.

The outbreak of the coronavirus is affecting all countries and member states and the EU are determined to tackle it together. This support is not only in the form of donations of essential medical equipment such as masks and ventilators. Countries are also taking in critically ill patients from other parts of the EU and helping to repatriate EU citizens who have been left stranded abroad.

Everyone, regardless of the country’s size, is pitching in. While France has donated masks and Germany has delivered medical equipment to Italy, Luxembourg has been taking in intensive care patients from France and the Czech Republic has donated protective suits to Italy and Spain.

Countries are also pooling resources to bring stranded Europeans back home. Since the start of the outbreak, thousands of EU citizens have been brought back. One in three passengers is not from the EU country organising the flight. Many more flights are being organised with more seats being made available to other EU nationals.

Meanwhile the EU is funding research into treatments and a vaccineorganising joint purchases of essential equipment, as well as making €37 billion available to EU countries to fight the virus and much more.

European solidarity in treating patients

Austria 11 intensive care patients from Italy and 3 intensive care patients from France are being taken care of in Austrian hospitals. “Given the great drama of the situation, this is only a small contribution, but it is symbolically important that we support Europe,” a statement released by the Austrian authorities said. 
Germany Cities and states across Germany are treating critically ill patients from Italy and France, making their own intensive care capacities available for around 175 Italian and French citizens.
For Italy, 85 intensive care beds have been reserved in 10 German federal states with 36 Italian patients already transferred to Germany.
For France, 98 intensive care beds have bee reserved in 8 federal states with 85 French patients already transfered to Germany.
Planes and helicopters operated by the German Airforce picked up intensive care patients from France and Italy for treatment in Germany. Medical staff from the University clinic Jena are supporting a clinic near Naples, Campania.
Greece 500 mobile medical units co-financed by the EU will soon be operational and be able to test citizens at their homes.
Luxembourg  Seven French intensive care patients from Mulhouse, France, were airlifted on 25 March and are being treated in Luxembourg. Another 4 have arrived from Thionville. Ambulance jets and two helicopters of the Luxembourg Air Rescue were integrated into the French Urgent Medical Aid Service. They have flown French intensive care patients to Hamburg and Dresden, Germany.
Romania Doctors and nurses from Romania and Norway have been dispatched to Bergamo, deployed through and financed by the EU Medical Corps and coordinated by the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre

European solidarity in protecting health workers and citizens

Austria Austria transported 1.5 million masks and has offered over 3,000 litres of medical disinfectant to Italy via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
Czechia Czechia delivered 10,000 protective suits to Italy and another 10,000 to Spain.
France France has donated 1 million masks to Italy and 20,000 protective suits.
Germany Germany has delivered 300 ventilators to Italy.
Poland The Polish Centre for International Aid is sending a dedicated team of 15 Polish doctors and paramedics, certified by the WHO, to a field hospital in Brescia, Lombardy, one of the most affected areas in Italy.

European solidarity in bringing people home*

  EU Since the beginning of the outbreak, on board of over 100 repatriation flights facilitated and co-financed by the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, over 20,000 stranded EU citizens have been brought home so far. One in three passengers repatriated were European citizens from a different nationality than the country organising the repatriation flight. Many more intra-European flights, not through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, but chartered directly by the Member States, are bringing citizens home daily.
    Austria Austria repatriated 1.234 citizens of 25 EU Member States on flights organized by Austria from Argentina, Australia, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Tunisia, UK, US, Vietnam.
Belgium Belgium repatriated citizens of 15 EU countries.
Czechia Czechia has already organized 14 flights and repatriated 542 EU citizens; one flight from Vietnam, under the
EU Civil Protection Mechanism carried 193 Czechs and 85 EU citizens safely to their homes.
France France repatriated citizens of all 27 EU countries. A flight from Wuhan, China, in early February carried 64 French citizens and 135 other EU citizens.
Germany Germany has repatriated about 3.000 citizens from various other EU countries.
Ireland Ireland organised a repatriation flight from Peru this week which included citizens from 12 EU countries.
Italy Italy repatriated citizens of 6 Member States from Tokyo, Japan.
Latvia  Latvia repatriated citizens of 5 Member States.
Luxembourg Luxembourg repatriated citizens of 8 EU countries. A flight from Cabo Verde on 25 March carried just 20 Luxembourgish citizens and 131 other EU citizens.
Portugal Portugal has brought home hundreds of citizens of 15 EU countries.
Spain Spain has brought home more than 600 European citizens of 16 EU countries.

Many more EU citizens have been repatriated by European flights not under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. For example:

Denmark A Danish flight just brought home 105 Danes and another 179 Europeans from the Philippines.
Germany Support to 600 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians to return home by ferry.
Hungary Hungary has brought back home citizens of 6 EU countries.
Lithuania Lithuania helped bring home more than 400 citizens of 6 EU countries return home from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and South America.
Netherlands The Netherlands has brought back over 230 citizens of various EU countries home from Spain, Portugal, The Gambia, Cape Verde, Peru and Turkey.
Poland Polish LOT airlines have helped to repatriate citizens from 18 EU countries.   Poland offered citizens of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania ferries and dedicated trains to ensure their safe journey home. Poland also organised 18 convoys of over 800 vehicles, escorted by the Polish Police, to help more than 2.000 citizens of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to return home safely.
Portugal Portugal helped bring home hundreds of citizens of 17 EU countries.
Slovakia Slovakia arranged for a flight from the US repatriating 300 EU citizens from 4 Member States. Six other flights are already planned.

*11 EU Member States used the Union Civil Protection Mechanism in their repatriation efforts. Most of the flights listed in the factsheet are EU-funded flights. Bilateral solidarity efforts in bringing citizens home are included where these have been expressly flagged to the Commission.

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