EU mobilises immediate support for its Western Balkan partners to tackle coronavirus

As part of the global response to the coronavirus outbreak, the European Commission has announced up to €38 million in immediate support for the Western Balkans to tackle the health emergency and reallocation of €374 million from the Instrumentfor Pre-Accession Assistance to help the socio-economic recovery of the region. Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, said: “Europe is facing an unprecedented public health crisis, but even in these difficult times we will always be there for our Western Balkan partners, who belong in the EU. We will help our partners to cover their immediate needs for their health systems, as well as promote longer term measures to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus crisis and support small and medium sized enterprises in the region.” As a result, the EU will assist Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia, to cover their immediate needs in medical devices and personal equipment, such as ventilators, laboratory kits, masks, goggles, gowns, and safety suits, and support their recovery. A press release and a factsheet are available online.