EU leaders decide to set up special €25 billion 'coronavirus fund'



The European Union will “do whatever it takes” to deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus epidemic.

The announcement came after EU leaders held emergency talks by video conference, and agreed on a coordinated approach for the procurement of medicines, medical devices and protective equipment, so health services are prepared for the number of coronavirus cases as they continue to increase.

It is expected that €25 billion will be raised quickly to be directed to EU countries.

The fund will target health systems, small and medium-sized enterprises, the labour market and other vulnerable segments of the EU economy.

“We are ready to use all the necessary tools,” European Council President Charles Michel said at a news conference after the 27 leaders’ video conference.

European Commission President Ursula von der Laien on her part stated that “in order to implement the idea, I will propose to the Council and Parliament this week to release 7.5 billion euro in targeted funding. I will create a working group that will be in contact with member states to ensure that money starts moving in the coming weeks."

During the video conference, member states also expressed sympathy with Italy and other member states that are severely hit.