Coronavirus: EU allocates €150 million for the transport of essential medical items

The EU is providing financial support to 18 Member States and the UK to transport essential medical items to Europe with funding totalling €150 million, through the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI). ESI has allowed the EU to finance cargo shipments between April and September 2020, including life-saving personal protective equipment, medicines and medical equipment.

For example, it supported the transport of a shared shipment of more than 1,000 tonnes of essential personal protective equipment to Czechia and Slovakia. Under this instrument, the EU also financed the transport of more than 1,000 tonnes of personal protective equipment bought by the Italian Extraordinary Commissioner for the coronavirus emergency, and more than 400 tonnes of goggles, disposable gowns, masks and protective clothing to Lithuania by plane and train.

“We continue to support our EU Member States to be better prepared to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. We have financed the transportation of essential medical supplies across the EU. The items were delivered where they were needed the most and have boosted national efforts to save lives and better equip hospitals and healthcare workers” said Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič.

The Emergency Support Instrument to transport equipment, medical personnel and patients.

This €150 million funding allocation is part of the €220 million made available in April 2020 to support:

  • The transport of medical items to where they are most needed, by financing the cargo transport of assistance and relief items to EU Member States;
  • The transfer of patients between EU Member States or from Member States to neighbouring countries, where health services risk being overwhelmed; and
  • The transport of medical personnel and mobile medical teams between EU Member States and into the EU from other countries.

The ESI is part of A wider EU assistance which includes other instruments such as the Civil Protection Mechanism, including rescEU, the Joint Procurement Procedures and the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, as well as Member States’ national efforts.


The support is part of the wider ESI activated on 16 April 2020 and designed to strengthen EU Member States’ efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic.

The Emergency Support Instrument budget is €2.7 billion. It has been designed to respond to needs in a strategic, coordinated manner at European level. As a financing arm of the ‘Joint European Roadmap towards lifting coronavirus containment measures’, it helps mitigate the immediate consequences of the pandemic and anticipate needs related to the exit and recovery.

The ESI builds on the principle of solidarity and pools efforts and resources to quickly address shared strategic needs. It is an important European instrument to support the existing national and European response measures with the aim of tackling the ongoing exceptional public health crisis.

For More Information

Emergency Support Instrument Factsheet

Coronavirus response: Emergency Response