The European Commission has decided to create a strategic rescEU stockpile of medical equipment such as ventilators and protective masks to help EU countries in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stockpile will include intensive care medical equipment such as ventilators, personal protective equipment such as reusable masks, vaccines and therapeutics, and laboratory supplies. The stockpile will be hosted by one or several Member States, with the hosting State responsible for procuring the equipment. The Commission will finance 90% of the stockpile and the Emergency Response Coordination Centre will manage the distribution of the equipment to ensure it goes where it is needed most. The initial EU budget for the stockpile is €50 million, of which €40 million is subject to the approval of the budgetary authorities. In addition, under the Joint Procurement Agreement, Member States are in the process of purchasing personal protective equipment, respiratory ventilators and items necessary for coronavirus testing. This coordinated approach gives Member States a strong position when negotiating with the industry on the availability and price of medical products.