A strategic rescEU stockpile of medical equipment, including respiratory support and safety masks, to help the member states of the European Union in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was decided by the EU Commission earlier today. The initiative was explained to the press by the Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic (shown in the photo, courtesy of SIR/CE). The president, Ursula von der Leyen, commented: “By putting together the first common stockpile of emergency medical equipment, we are giving factual proof of the Union’s solidarity. All member states and all citizens will benefit from it. Helping each other is the only way to go”. The stockpile will also include the following equipment: medical equipment for intensive care, such as respiratory support; personal protective equipment, including reusable masks; vaccines and therapeutic substances; laboratory supplies. The stockpile “will be held in one or more member states. The host country will be responsible for acquiring the equipment”, the EU Commission specifies. The EU Executive will fund 90% of the stockpile. The Emergency Response Coordination Centre will handle the allocation of the equipment to make sure it is sent where it needed most. The EU’s initial budget for the stockpile amounts to 50 million euros, 40 of which must be approved by the budgetary authorities, which are the EU Parliament and the EU Council.