COVID-19 Response

EU Response

The COVID-19 crisis was of such a scale that no country could address it successfully alone. The European Union agreed on a series of unprecedented measures to support member states in tackling the pandemic.

These included:

  • €3.08 billion in emergency support will be provided for the healthcare sector across the EU, these funds helped to procure and distribute medical supplies across the EU, construct mobile field hospitals, and support the transportation of medical equipment and patients in cross-border regions.
  • All uncommitted money from the European Social Fund (ESF) could be mobilised to address the effects of the crisis through the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative and the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus.
  • The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived could be used to buy protective equipment for those delivering aid. It was also possible for food and basic material assistance to be delivered through vouchers, lowering the risks of infection.
  • REACT-EU provided an additional €55 billion for the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the European Fund for Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). 
  • The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) was allocated €3.6 million to assess and communicate threats to human health from communicable diseases.
  • Changes to the Common Agricultural Policy and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund provided more flexibility and allowed Ireland to introduce measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the farming and seafood sectors.
  • An extra €45 million to help Member States repatriate EU nationals stranded abroad.
  • The Commission’s SURE instrument protected jobs and people at work.
  • Liquidity measures to help hard-hit small and medium businesses.
  • The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) continued to provide support to workers who had been made redundant and self-employed people whose activity had ceased.

These measures are only a snapshot of the EU’s commitment to helping Member States tackle the effects of the pandemic. More information is available at:

The EU’s Coronavirus Response Factsheet.

The latest information on how Ireland is responding to COVID-19 can be found on the Government’s website: