21 August 2014
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Alfred Sant (S&D)
What steps have been, or are being, taken to establish an integrated European response to the Ebola epidemic, covering areas such as health policy, national security, humanitarian intervention, air transport and development cooperation with African countries at bilateral and ACP levels?
Answer given by Mr Piebalgs on behalf of the Commission
On 30 August 2014, the European Council discussed the Ebola epidemic, called ‘for increased coordination at EU level of the assistance provided by EU Member States and invite[d] the Council to adopt a comprehensive EU response framework to address this crisis’.
On 15 September, the Commission convened a European high-level coordination meeting to take forward this tasking from the European Council. The meeting aimed at exchanging views with Member States, the UN System Coordinator for Ebola Virus Disease, the WHO and MSF in order to recognise the scale of the EU’s current response and complementary assistance . Details of the meeting and of the European response package can be found at:
The EU’s current response package stands at some EUR 180 million. This includes support for: humanitarian actions for addressing the epidemic, budget support to cushion the economic impact of the crisis, mobile laboratories to test cases and functioning health systems.
The Commission is now finalising an ‘EU Comprehensive Response Framework’ document, which will outline and facilitate the response of the EU to the Ebola virus epidemic, taking into consideration both the internal and the external dimension of the response. After consultation of Member States, the document should be adopted by the next European Council.