European Union member states are uniting to help each other tackle the threat of the coronavirus in what the European Commission is describing as “European solidarity in action”.
Figures published by the European Commission show that France has donated one million masks to Italy, while Germany has donated seven tons of masks and other protective equipment.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of European citizens have been repatriated from abroad, with most flights being intra-European, according to the commission.
While the European Union’s opponents have ruthlessly viewed the coronavirus as an opportunity to score points by pouring scorn on the bloc’s response to the crisis, there is overwhelming evidence that member states are showing considerable solidarity as they take steps to help other EU states battle the pandemic.
So exactly what have EU nations done to support each other? Below is a detailed breakdown of the actions individual countries have taken to provide support to other member states in distress:
The treatment of patients
- Cities and states across Germany are treating critically ill patients from Italy and France, making their own intensive care beds available for Italian and French citizens.
- Cases from Italy are offered treatment in Saxony, Brandenburg, Berlin, Bavaria, Hessen, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony.
- The German Foreign Ministry confirmed a total of 73 intensive care beds for Italian patients. Examples: In the city of Leipzig two patients from Bergamo, northern Italy, have arrived. Hessen is taking 10 patients from its partner region Emilia-Romagna.
- Intensive care patients from France are being treated in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hessen and Saarland.
- Seven French intensive care patients from Mulhouse, France, have been airlifted and are being treated in Luxembourg.
- 500 mobile medical units co-financed by the EU will soon be operational and be able to test citizens in their homes.
- South Tyrol (Italy) has provided personal protective equipment to Tyrol (Austria), whereas Tyrol is providing hospital beds for patients from South Tyrol.
Protecting health workers and citizens
- France has donated 1 million masks to Italy and 20,000 protective suits.
- Germany is expected to send one million face masks to Italy still this week. It has already donated personal protective equipment to Switzerland, Austria (eight million gloves) Romania (100,000 masks) and Sweden (60,000 masks).
- Germany has delivered 300 ventilators to Italy.
- Austria transported 1.5 million masks to Italy.
- The Czech Republic offers 10,000 protective suits to Italy and another 10,000 to Spain.
Bringing people home
- Since the beginning of the outbreak, 25 repatriation flights facilitated and co-financed by the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, have brought home 4,020 stranded EU citizens have been brought home so far. A total of 30 per cent of passengers repatriated were European citizens from a different nationality than the country organising the repatriation flight.
- Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg and Czechia, but also the UK, repatriated more than 1,150 EU citizens from different member states. More than 100 flights organised by 12 countries are currently planned in the coming days and seats are made available to other EU and UK nationals.
- France repatriated citizens from 22 EU countries. A flight from Wuhan, China, in early February carried 64 French citizens and 135 other EU citizens.
- Belgium repatriated citizens of 14 EU countries.
- Luxembourg repatriated citizens of 9 EU countries. A flight from Cabo Verde on 25 March carried just 20 Luxembourgish citizens and 131 other EU citizens.
- Germany repatriated citizens from eight EU countries.
- The Czech Republic has already organized ten flights – one from Vietnam, under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, carried 193 Czechs and 85 EU citizens safely to their homes.
- Austria repatriated citizens of 10 Member States from Marrakesh, Morocco.
- Latvia repatriated citizens of five member states.
- Italy repatriated citizens of six member states from Tokyo, Japan.
- Slovakia arranged for a flight from the US repatriating 300 EU citizens from four member states. Six other flights are already planned.
- Support to 600 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians to return home by ferry.
Figures correct as of 28 March 2020