Alfred Sant said today little progress has been registered on the efforts by the EU to combat the Ebola epidemy. The Maltese MEP was commenting in Brussels following a reply by the European Commission to a question submitted in Mid August on the spread of Ebola. The Labour Head of Delegation in the S&D had asked the Commission 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 (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) levels.
In its reply, the European Commission said that 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 invited 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 .
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 said it 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.
Reacting to this reply in Brussels, Alfred Sant said that unfortunately there has been no comprehensive response on a European level which in a concrete way can combat the advance of the ebola epidemic which now has been witnessed on the European Union territory. Dr. Sant said that since mid August, when he tabled his Parliamentary Question on the matter, little progress has been registered. Humanitarian initiatives by themselves are not enough to tacke this problem, said the Maltese MEP.

HEREUNDER PLEASE FIND QUESTION AND ANSWER ON THE EBOLA EPIDEMIC

QUESTION TABLED BY ALFRED SANT
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
(15.10.2014)
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:
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-14-278_en.htm

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.