European Union External Action

Stronger Together against COVID-19

In Europe and in the world, all minds are focused on actions to tackle the outbreak of COVID-19 and mitigate the effects of the crisis. The European Union works on all fronts to support these efforts. 

"The coronavirus has not only Europe but the entire global community in its grip and is the world’s common enemy. An enemy we can only defeat with a global approach and cross-border coordination", said EU High Representative Josep Borrell. 

To this aim, the European Union has launched its “Team Europe” package to support partner countries in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences. The objective of the “Team Europe” approach is to combine resources from the EU, its Member States, and financial institutions, in particular the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The overall figure of the “Team Europe” package reaches almost 36 billion euros.



EU support - #Team Europe

The support of the European Union focuses on:

  • responding to the immediate health crisis and the resulting humanitarian needs;
  • strengthening health, water and sanitation systems, as well as partner countries’ capacities and preparedness to deal with the pandemic;
  • mitigating the immediate social and economic consequences, including support to the private sector with a focus on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, and government reforms to reduce poverty.

Tackling COVID-19 and its consequences requires a mobilisation that goes well beyond medical capacities. National armed forces in the EU have played an important role in helping fellow EU Member States tackle the pandemic. As High Representative Borrell said: “This is European solidarity in action”.

La implementación de este nuevo financiamiento de 15 millones de euros estará a cargo del Programa Mundial de Alimentos (PMA). Se suman a los recursos ya movilizados por la UE y sus Estados Miembros para luchar contra la pandemia en el país, mediante la reorientación de la cartera de proyectos de cooperación existentes, estimados en unos 35 millones de euros.

The European Union (EU) has provided EUR 10 million towards the implementation of the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 Outbreak. The funding is the initial contribution by Team Europe to the continental action against COVID-19.

The Delegation of the European Union, represented by its Ambassador/Head of Delegation, Mrs Diana Acconcia, today, 26 June, 2020, handed over in Accra, COVID19 protection equipment (approx. 80,000 EUR/520,000 GHS worth of masks, gloves, coveralls, protective eyewear, Hydroalcoholic gel, soap, disinfectant, thermometers, among others) to the Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Michael Achagwe Luguje, in the framework of the Western and Central Africa Port Security (WeCAPS - project.

Piracy doesn’t stop with Covid19: Civilian CSDP supports anti-piracy law on the Horn of Africa

EUCAP Somalia advises on an update of the Puntland anti-piracy law that could prevent acts of piracy in the planning stage and protect witnesses. Since its establishment in 2012 the civilian Capacity Building Mission EUCAP mentors and advises Somali counterparts on rebuilding Somalia’s maritime civilian security capacities.

Increased socio-economic stress and confinement at home is a major risk factor for increased violence against women and girls.

Team Europe in Albania

The second part of EU’s assistance to Albania has arrived. As part of the EU global response to the consequences of the COVID19 pandemic, the EU has donated medical equipment to reinforce the country’s health system.

Une action de l’ONG Terre des hommes a permis, à date, de sortir de prison 37 mineurs et de placer les plus vulnérables dans des foyers d’accueil à Conakry, Labé et Nzérékoré. Des réalisations accomplies grâce à un projet financé par l’Union européenne dans le cadre de la riposte contre le COVID-19 en Guinée.

cachalot, sperm whale, Western Indian Ocean

An overview of the research programmes and protection actions implemented in the Western Indian Ocean.

Team Europe in Mexico

Team Europe in Mexico foresees an initial fund of 8 million euros to support the fight against coronavirus and its consequences, with a focus on the most vulnerable.

With a grant from the European Union of USD 1.3 million, five international NGOs have teamed up with local civil society organisations (CSOs) to provide support to the Timorese population, in particular to vulnerable households in eight municipalities



*All together to combat coronavirus. This is the motto of the campaign that the EU Delegation in Dakar, Senegal, has launched.

(L to R): French Ambassador Emmanuelle Blatmann, Ambassador Robert van den dool, EU Head of Delegation and  Swedish Ambassador Hans Henric Lundqvist at Khartoum Airport. Photo by: Ala Kheir

EU Air Bridge to Sudan

Ai ba Futuru” (Trees for the Future) - Partnership for Sustainable Agroforestry (PSAF), a project co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has distributed 200 food packages to families severely affected by the economic effects of coronavirus.

L’Union européenne, à travers la Cellule d’appui à l’Ordonnateur national du Fonds européen de développement (COFED), soutient une prise en charge optimale et assure aux patients et à leurs proches des soins de qualité avec un montant de 5 millions d’euros alloué à l’Hôpital Saint-Joseph à Kinshasa-Limete, première structure de référence de la riposte à la pandémie pour 7 communes de l’Est de Kinshasa.

As the Greek government has recently taken over the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, a new set of priorities has been advanced for May-November 2020. The ambition is to set out an effective crisis response in full compliance with the fundamental values of the Council of Europe, human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Other topics such as the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights or enhanced children protection, youth empowerment and the protection of vulnerable groups’ rights are also featured on the agenda of the new presidency.

As part of its plan to support partner countries around the globe, the European Union (EU) is mobilising €350 million to fight against the spread of the coronavirus and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the ASEAN region.

The EU and its Member States are joining forces to support Indonesia in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Approximately 22.307 people at risk from highly vulnerable neighbourhoods and communities, including children and adolescents, youth, women victims of violence, indigenous and afro-descendant ethnic groups and people with disabilities, will benefit from the new project "Girls, children, adolescents, youth and their families resilient to the health emergency of Covid-19 in Nicaragua".

Although the European Union is one of the most affected regions in the world, it is firmly committed to assist its partner countries in their efforts to meet the urgent health and humanitarian needs caused by COVID-19.


On International Day of UN Peacekeepers we pay tribute to the invaluable work of peacekeepers and honour those who have lost their lives while on duty. The EU works closely with the UN on peacekeeping and civilian, police and military crisis management, to enhance security both inside and outside the EU. The EU and the UN also aim to increase participation of women in peace operations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges and threats faced by peacekeepers are even greater than ever, as they are not only having to cope with the pandemic, but also with supporting and protecting the people in the countries they are based in.

In a bid to fight the spread of COVID 19, the European Union (EU) in Ghana on Wednesday joined the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and artists from the Ghana Graffiti Collective, to launch an initiative to use street art and graffiti to create awareness about the virus and also to raise awareness on migration.

The global coronavirus pandemic that has gripped humanity is still ongoing. Its effect is yet to be analysed, but we can already say that this pandemic will be one of the key events of this century. In the past few months, many things have changed and life, work, obligations, and even the most ordinary socialising activities have taken on new forms.

La biodiversité, qu’elle soit terrestre ou marine, qu’il s’agisse de plantes ou d’espèces animales, est indéniablement liée au bien-être des populations et à la santé de la planète. Elle représente notre patrimoine naturel commun que nous devons protéger. L'Union européenne et ses Etats membres agissent pour la protection de la biodiversité à Maurice, à travers plusieurs initiatives, notamment celles de l'AFD et de l'Antenne de la Région Reunion.

Cooperación Unión Europea en Nicaragua Covid19 Coronavirus

En el marco de la iniciativa de solidaridad mundial "Equipo Europa" despliegan colectivamente actividades valoradas en unos 35 millones de euros.

« C’est notre combat »: l’artiste centrafricain Didier Kassai réalise une bande dessinée pour sensibiliser les jeunes sur le #Coronavirus.

EU supports the fight against COVID-19

To support the fight against Covid-19, EUPOL COPPS donated EUR 60,000 worth of protective equipment and sanitiser to the Palestinian Civil Police. EUPOL COPPS is the EU's civilian police and rule of law mission for the Palestinian Territory.


The EU and its Member States, in close coordination with the Government of Botswana, have decided about a COVID-19 response package, to support the national health system, protect and save lives, and counter the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. Only united in an international effort, we will win the battle against the virus.


The European Delegation in Tajikistan and UNICEF Tajikistan delivers critical medical supplies to support the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Republic of Tajikistanin the battle against COVID-19.

covid-19, Moldova

70 localities in the Republic of Moldova benefit from protective equipment to be used for preventing and combating gender-based and domestic violence, including violence against children, and to help out vulnerable groups. It also aims to provide local and district multidisciplinary teams with protective equipment to respond in a coordinated, effective and prompt manner to cases of violence which represent an increased risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

covid-19, Moldova

70 localities in the Republic of Moldova benefit from protective equipment to be used for preventing and combating gender-based and domestic violence, including violence against children, and to help out vulnerable groups. It also aims to provide local and district multidisciplinary teams with protective equipment to respond in a coordinated, effective and prompt manner to cases of violence which represent an increased risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

covid-19, uk

A team of EU-funded researchers in Cambridge University has launched an app that records voice, breathing and coughs – data, which has the potential to assist the development of machine learning algorithms that could make it easier to diagnose COVID-19.

In the ‘Month of Europe’, the official launch of the "Team Europe" package was launched to support the country in the face of the health and economic emergency resulting from the COVID19.

Countering Covid-19: EU Advisory Mission donates protective equipment to Ukrainian civilian security sector

The European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) reached yesterday out to Ukrainian institutions caught up in the fight against Covid-19 by donating protective equipment to those on the frontline who are putting their lives and well-being at risk.

Given the current emergency situation created by COVID-19 in Timor-Leste, the EU funded project will also support the National Parliament, Ministry of State Administration and the Municipal Authorities to strengthen their response to the pandemic, particularly at municipal level.


Face au danger de la pandémie, l’Union européenne a dû, au Burkina Faso comme ailleurs, s’adapter rapidement et réorganiser la façon de travailler pour protéger l’équipe de la délégation ainsi que les partenaires. Ces mesures n’empêchent nullement l’ambassadeur Wolfram Vetter et ses collègues de mobiliser pleinement les ressources européennes pour lutter contre le COVID-19 au Burkina Faso, bien au contraire.

Dans le cadre de la mobilisation sociale contre le COVID-19, l'Union européenne et ses partenaires ont lancé une vaste campagne de prévention pour encourager et inciter les Maliennes et Maliens à adopter quotidiennement les gestes barrières recommandés par l'Organisation Mondiale de la Santé.

Dans le cadre de la mobilisation sociale contre le COVID-19, l'Union européenne et ses partenaires ont lancé une vaste campagne de prévention pour encourager les Maliens à adopter les gestes barrières.

Parmi les nombreuses activités déployées figure une chanson enregistrée par un collectif de six artistes vedettes - Vieux Farka Touré, Keltoum Waletr, Ben Zabo, Naba Traoré, Petit Goro et Ami Yérélowo - issus de la jeune génération.

Following up on the massively covered Team Europe announcement of 50 million Euro for the Covid-19 response in Nigeria, food items and hand-washing equipment were distributed to vulnerable communities in and around Abuja. A total of 2,200 households whose livelihoods have been mostly impacted by the crisis were targeted in the exercise


This is a joint initiative of the European Union and the Metropolitan Governance Project to provide timely relief. A symbolic act but still necessary for the disadvantaged population of El Salvador, with this basic food basket that we want to distribute among the citizens.

This is the most affected area in El Salvador, on health and economic impact due to Covid-19.

As the 3rd of May will mark the World Press Freedom Day, it is a good opportunity to reflect on the value of a free and independent press for our democratic societies. The topic chosen for this year "Journalism without Fear or Favour" resonates in these risky times for media freedom, as many governments could be tempted to use the current emergency situation to restrict freedom of expression and by extension press freedom.

On International Workers Day on 1 May, the EU’s Myan Ku Emergency Cash Fund transfers the first payments to garment workers who have been suspended or terminated due to the impact the COVID-19 crisis has on Myanmar’s garment sector.

covid-19, serbia

They say that viruses don’t discriminate. But the fact that emergency measures do, has heightened our sense of solidarity: while the elderly are staying at home, health professionals, pharmacists, sales people, drivers, the military, and the police remain at the “front line” of the fight. There is, however, another group of people offering assistance at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic: volunteers and organisations that took upon themselves to help the elderly and the socially vulnerable.

covid-19, serbia

“They are the only ones I can rely on. I can count on them to bring me food and medicine, things I need every day. I’m grateful for their kindness and poatience; I trust them and love them. This past year felt like I had two daughters,” says the old lady (85) from Moravci village whose life changed when geronto-housewives started working in Ljig, Mionica and Lajkovac.

#VaccinesWork: Immunization saves millions of lives every year. This year, the World Immunization Week takes on greater significance than ever since the Covid-19 outbreak reveals what is at stake when communities do not have the protective shield of immunization against an infectious disease.

Ahead of the 6 May meeting between the EU and the region, the European Union reinforces its support to the Western Balkans to address the coronavirus crisis.

covid-19, RDC

L’ambassadeur de l'Union européenne en République Démocratique du Congo (RDC), Jean-Marc Châtaigner, a remis ce mardi 28 avril, au ministre de la santé publique, Dr. Eteni Longondo, un lot de matériel et de médicaments pour appuyer la riposte contre le coronavirus qui touche actuellement sept des vingt-six provinces dont la capitale Kinshasa, l’épicentre.

covid-19, cote d'ivoire

Magic System Foundation and the European Union have decided to support the government's efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus by providing food and equipment to prevent the epidemic to thousands of families in the autonomous district of Abidjan.

covid-19, bangladesh

Practicing physical distancing is easier said than done for the more than 850,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, living in cramped conditions in what is effectively the world’s largest refugee camp. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t precautions that those living in Cox’s Bazar can take to minimize the risk of contracting diseases like COVID-19. In fact, many children there have already been doing one of the most important things they can do to protect themselves: washing their hands thoroughly and regularly.

covid-19, nepal

In the fight against the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Nepal extended the nationwide lockdown. Since the outbreak, face masks and sanitizers are scarce in the market. This has mobilised several local initiatives and organisations to produce masks; however, quality standards and availability remain an issue. Through the EU SWITCH-Asia Parya Sampada project, UN-Habitat and implementing partners are joining forces to respond at best to the numerous challenges posed by the pandemic.

covid-19, fiji

Empower Pacific has opened counselling helplines where expert counsellors are responding to calls from all over Fiji 24/7. This helpline counselling service aims to respond to people’s stress and anxieties under the current nationwide response to COVID-19 undertaken by the Government, which includes stringent movement restrictions imposed in the Greater Lautoka Area on 20 March 2020, where Empower Pacific is based. Empower Pacific is one of the partner civil society organisations working with the EU funded Fiji 'Access to Justice Project'.

COVID-19 is affecting countries around the world, with terrible consequences in terms of loss of life and livelihoods. But it is in developing countries, where health systems are often weak and lack resources, that the effects will be felt particularly harshly.

In the streets of Mbanza Kongo and Uíge, in the north of the country, the population is being invited to use the hydro-alcoholic gels at their disposal and check more information on sanitary measures during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Saleema, 28, is a refugee from Afghanistan and is completing her medical studies to become the first female Turkmen doctor in the country.

The European Union has taken a series of concrete actions to support efforts by Uzbekistan government in dealing with COVID crisis. The EU’s response addresses the humanitarian, health, social and economic consequences of the crisis. It addresses short-term emergency needs as well as the longer-term structural impacts on societies and economies, thus reducing the risk of destabilisation. It reinforces both governmental and non-governmental actions.

On 17 April, the European Union (EU) Delegation to El Salvador distributed close to 300 personal protective kits to Salvadoran journalists, photographers, and camerapersons from more than 40 media outlets, including international news agencies’ correspondents. Each kit contained several N95 respirator masks and hand sanitiser.

COVID-19 will have a significant health and socio-economic impact on Kyrgyzstan. There is an urgent need to strengthen the preparedness and the response of the health sector and to support the population made vulnerable by the crisis.

covid-19, sierra leone

As part of its many ongoing actions to support the country's response plan to COVID-19, the EU to Sierra Leone is co-funding the Mask Up Freetown Initiative in collaboration with the Freetown City Council, Madam Wokie Fashion House, the Antonia Rüdiger Foundation and other local partners.

A l’occasion de la construction de camps pour les forces de sécurité intérieures, l'Union européenne a fourni des kits d'hygiène aux forces en charge de la sécurisation des chantiers.

Messages from HR/VP Josep Borrell

Tomorrow, European leaders will discuss the proposal for a new EU budget, also known in our jargon as the “multiannual financial framework (MFF)” for the years 2021-2027. Adding the 750 billion euros of the Next Generation EU instrument makes a considerable change from the initial draft budget presented by the Commission back in 2019.

The coronavirus crisis is creating a more competitive global environment, with confrontation growing faster than cooperation. As EU, we face rougher seas and risk getting caught in the cross-currents of major powers telling us to “pick a side”.

Last Monday, Dr. Tedros, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), participated at our videoconference with EU Development Ministers. He took the opportunity to discuss the Covid-19 epidemic and the role played by the WHO.
He also assessed the current state of this pandemic. And it was quite alarming: although Covid-19 seems to be under control in Europe thanks to the large-scale measures taken by the Member States and the Union, this is not yet the case in the rest of the world. With 130,600 new cases detected worldwide on 5 June this year, a new record was set that very day. The situation continues to deteriorate on the American continent, and especially in South America, Dr. Tedros told us.

HRVP Blog on European defence: fighting COVID-19, preparing for the future

The coronavirus pandemic will very likely deteriorate our security environment in the years to come, increasing the need for a stronger European Union security and defence policy, and for a stronger Union in the world.

HRVP Blog on Sahel

The world’s attention is legitimately focused on the global response to the coronavirus crisis. Despite its historic scale and intensity, COVID 19 does not rid us of the many other regional and global challenges we face. Quite the contrary: since it weakens the stability and development efforts of some countries, COVID-19 is an aggravating factor. We must therefore not only maintain our engagement with our partners but strengthen it.

World Press Freedom Day pictoquote

This year, we mark World Press Freedom Day in the midst of a global pandemic. This gives us a special reason to pay tribute to all the journalists and media workers who bring us the news and analyse the world we are in.

A health crisis at the outset, the coronavirus pandemic soon turned into an unprecedented economic and social crisis. In an article published with several European think tanks, I sketch how COVID-19 could magnify three global developments.

It is now more than a month that the corona virus has Europe in its grip. While every day we work flat out to address the crisis in all its aspects, it is good to step back and reflect on what living with COVID19 means, for our daily lives, for Europe, for the wider world and how it will affect our society.

The coronavirus has not only Europe but the entire global community in its grip and is the world’s common enemy. An enemy we can only defeat with a global approach and cross-border coordination. And while we have to mobilise all our resources to fight the virus at home, now is also the time to look beyond our borders, most specifically at our sister continent Africa and the Southern Neighbourhood, as well as at the Western Balkans, the Middle East, and parts of Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Because solidarity cannot be an empty word and also because for as long as the virus will not be eradicated everywhere, it will remain a threat to all of us.

Tackling the global pandemic requires an unprecedented mobilisation at all levels.

The European Union is doing everything it can to tackle the #coronavirus crisis and its consequences. It is now that we have to demonstrate what European and global solidarity really means. These unprecedented events call for unprecedented international action.

COVID-19 will reshape our world. We don’t yet know when the crisis will end. But we can be sure that by the time it does, our world will look very different. How different will depend on the choices we make today.

Watch my video message on the outbreak and the EU’s response, including our efforts to coordinate the repatriation of thousands of European stranded abroad.

Fighting disinformation on the coronavirus

COVID-19 Disinformation: Remarks by HR/VP Josep Borrell at the European Parliament session on tackling COVID-19 disinformation and the impact on freedom of expression: It is really evident that the virus pandemic has been accompanied by an ‘infodemic’, by a pandemic of disinformation. We have witnessed a wave of false and misleading information, and an exponential increase in targeted influence operations by foreign actors. Read the full remarks

Coronavirus: EU strengthens action to tackle disinformation: The coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by a massive wave of false and misleading information, attempts by foreign actors to influence domestic debates in the EU, breeding on the fertile ground of people’s most basic anxieties and  the rapidly changing news cycle. Misleading healthcare information, dangerous hoaxes with false claims conspiracy theories and consumer fraud endanger public health. Read the full press release

Tackling Coronavirus Disinformation - Getting the facts right: Read the factsheet




In line with the previous EEAS Special Reports and based on publicly available information, this edition gives an overview of recent developments around COVID-19 related disinformation.


As outlined in the earlier reports, disinformation, myths and misinformation continue to proliferate around the world, with potentially harmful consequences for public security, health and effective crisis communications. In this context, it is important to distinguish the very different forms of mis- and disinformation, as well as other forms of information manipulation.

Misinformation and disinformation in the health space are thriving, including on COVID-19. It is important that you rely only on authoritative sources to get updated information on the COVID-19 outbreak.


Disinformation and misinformation around COVID-19 continue to proliferate around the world, with potentially harmful consequences for public health and effective crisis communication. In the EU and elsewhere, coordinated disinformation messaging seeks to frame vulnerable minorities as the cause of the pandemic and to fuel distrust in the ability of democratic institutions to deliver effective responses. Some state and state-backed actors seek to exploit the public health crisis to advance geopolitical interests, often by directly challenging the credibility of the European Union and its partners.

Consular support & Repatriation - #WeTakeYouHome

HR/VP Josep Borrell, supported by the European External Action Service, the European Commission and Delegations to the EU around the world, was in the lead to coordinate the work with Member States and help EU travellers stranded in third countries to safely reach their homes. In an unprecedented repatriation effort, the EU has managed to bring home over half a million of its citizens who were affected by coronavirus travel restrictions across the world. Read our factsheet on consular support and repatriation & find out more about the different stories and experiences from EU citizens repatriated thanks to the EU and Member States.


High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell, supported by the EEAS, the Commission and EU Delegations around the world, led the work to strengthen coordination among Member States to help EU citizens who were stranded outside the EU

Airport Gambia

EU Delegation in Banjul, The Gambia, successfully implemented another round of consular coordination and had its thirteenth repatriation flight left Banjul, this time for Stockholm.

11 Member States organised repatriation operations that were specially challenging due to the 7.000 islands of the Philippines archipelago

Two more repatriation flights departing from Banjul International Airport, organised by the Dutch and Spanish governments this time and both operated under the umbrella of the UCPM, brought home a total of 90 and 298 stranded European citizens and residents, respectively.

EU military and civilians together against COVID-19

From the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the armed forces of EU Member States have played a critical role in fighting the virus – abroad, at home and in European solidarity. They are providing transport and logistic support, building field hospitals in record time, deploying their medical staff, and supporting national authorities and services. The European External Action Service set up a dedicated task force to support these efforts, in particular by facilitating the exchange of information.

The three EU Delegations worked in close cooperation with each other and with France to organize an Air France sweeper flight

The stranded travelers returned home aboard the national carriers of 14 EU Member States and partner countries in a coordinated operation led by the EU Delegation in New Delhi

More than 1.000 EU citizens, who were in Montenegro at the time of the coronavirus epidemic outbreak, have returned to their countries thanks to the committed cooperation of the Government of Montenegro and EU Member State embassies, coordinated by the EU Delegation to Montenegro. Since 17 March, more than 20 flights and trips by road were organised bringing EU citizens safely back home.

Stranded European Union citizens left Nairobi on Thursday in a special Ethiopian Airways flight to Frankfurt via Addis, organised by the EU Delegation to Kenya.

On 22 April, EULEX chartered a plane from Warsaw, Poland to Pristina, Kosovo to bring back 31 Polish police officers from EULEX’s Formed Police Unit. At the same time, EULEX facilitated the cost-free repatriation of twelve Kosovo citizens stranded in Poland and Czechia, following a request by the Kosovo Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora.

Two chartered flights organized under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism repatriate EU citizens from Barbados and other countries

The COVID-19 outbreak caused the Gambian authorities to close Gambian airspace, and this is when the EUD in Banjul started realising just how many stranded European citizens were in the country. Since, the EUD has been working all hours to help get as many as possible airlifted back to European destinations, and facilitate their onward travel to their homes anywhere in Europe.

A total of 670 Europeans stranded in Venezuela have safely returned to Europe in the last three weeks aboard two flights

Between 23 March and 3 April, a total of ten repatriation flights from Cuba have been organized under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM). The repatriation flights have brought home over 1857 EU citizens and around 121 non-EU residents of more than 46 nationalities, including from 25 EU Member States.

The majority of these flights was supported by the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM), an instrument designed to enhance the protection of EU citizens in crisis situations.

Concerted efforts by Embassies and Honorary Consuls in collaboration with EU Delegations in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, ensured that close to 500 stranded Europeans made it home safely.

covid-19, cabo verde

Nearly a million EU tourists annually visit the small islands of Cabo Verde. Many still came in March, and got "stranded".

covid-19, nepal

Around 6000 Europeans were in Nepal for the March trekking season. Soon after their arrival, the nation went into complete lockdown due to the Corona virus.

covid-19, uganda

Repatriation operations continue as Europeans are returned safely back home from Uganda.

Lithuania repatriated more than 400 EU citizens and several European countries helped Lithuanian citizens to return back home

On March 30th, a plane left Asunción to Frankfurt with approximately 340 european citizens who were stranded in Paraguay after commercial flights to Europe were cancelled and borders closed.

Ce samedi 4 avril, un vol Brussels Airlines spécialement affrété pour le trajet Abidjan-Conakry-Bruxelles a permis de rapatrier 81 ressortissants européens de passage en Côte d’Ivoire, avec à bord beaucoup de citoyens allemands et belges mais aussi des passagers de dix autres Etats de l’UE.

On Sunday evening 5 April, the EU Delegations to Sierra Leone and Liberia facilitated the successful repatriation to Brussels of nearly 250 citizens from the EU, but also from the Schengen area and from the UK.

Today, in a pandemic, all countries are taking steps to return their citizens who are in other countries. 300 Europeans, of which 70 French, returned home in good health after a 14-day quarantine in Uzbekistan.

More than 500 European citizens from more than 20 countries were able to return home, thanks to a joint effort led by Germany and France that included the collaboration of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Nicaragua and the coordination with the diplomatic and consular representations of Member States of the EU in the region.

The EU Delegation to Indonesia and the embassies of the EU Member states in Jakarta have been working together on responding to the very acute problem of the thousands of European tourists stranded in the country, especially in Bali.

Three repatriation flights left Buenos Aires to Vienna, Paris and Frankfurt bringing home 1,050 EU citizens.

07/04/20- Suva, Fiji - Nearly 300 Europeans, from the European Union, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are on their way home from Fiji, including 183 on a repatriation flight operated by Fiji Airways and chartered by Germany. Others were able to transit back to Europe on flights to Sydney and Los Angeles.

Due to the global crisis caused by Covid 19, many Europeans lost the opportunity to go back to the continent from Guatemala. In response 3 EU Member States (Germany, France, Spain) organized 5 repatriation flights for tourists from their own countries and other European nations

On the 3rd of April, the Dutch Embassy in Accra, Ghana and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs took the lead to evacuate EU stranded tourists and non-residents from Ghana.

Since mid-March, the EU Delegation to Vietnam is liaising with the authorities and is actively supporting and coordinating the member states in the organization of repatriation flights. So far, the EU Civilian Protection Mechanism (UCPM) has facilitated five repatriation flights operated by Austria, Czechia, Germany and Lithuania, for more than 1,500 EU travellers.

Austria asked for financial support under the European Union's Civil Protection Mechanism to transport citizens from Buenos Aires to Vienna

The German Embassy in Bangkok, the Delegation of the European Union to Thailand and diplomatic missions of other EU Member States are working together to bring EU citizens stranded in Thailand back home

covid-19, philippines © NL emb twitter

More than 5,000 tourists were present in the country at the moment of the Coronavirus outbreak.

covid-19, seychelles

Following the establishment of travel restrictions, international airlines serving the route Europe - Seychelles suspended numerous flights. This has left many European citizens stranded.

Thousands of European tourists have managed to safely go back home from the Maldives and Sri Lanka, thanks to joint work of the European Union and its member states.

Press releases

H.E. Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, H.E. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and H.E. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, held a Leaders' meeting via video conference on 30 June 2020. The leaders acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every country of the world, leading to immense human suffering, putting enormous strains on healthcare and welfare systems, as well as badly hitting economies and putting jobs at risk.

The global pledging summit and concert organised by the Commission and Global Citizen are only one day away. They will bring the world together and mobilise additional funding to develop and universally deploy coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments.

Today, the second of two EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights arrived in Sudan, helping humanitarian workers and essential supplies reach people in need and supporting the coronavirus response in the country. This fully EU-funded Humanitarian Air Bridge flight to Sudan was made possible through a coordinated Team Europe approach, bringing together the European Union, Sweden, France and the Humanitarian Logistics Network.

The ‘Global Goal: Unite For Our Future' campaign launched by the Commission and the international advocacy organisation Global Citizen on 28 May will culminate in a global pledging summit and concert on Saturday 27 June. The aim is to mobilise additional funding to develop and deploy coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments. Access to vaccines everywhere, for everyone who needs them, will enable the world to overcome this pandemic and avoid another.It will also help rebuild communities impacted by the pandemic in a fair and just way.

As part of the European Union's response to the COVID-19 crisis in Africa, the European Commission has decided to grant €54 million to the Central African Republic to help the government shore up public expenditure negatively affected by the fight against the virus.

European Union countries can now apply for additional funding via the Emergency Support Instrument to transport essential goods, medical teams and patients affected by the coronavirus. This comes in addition to support already available via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and deliveries of protective equipment through rescEU.

As part of the EU's global coronavirus response, an EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight will depart on 15 June from Maastricht, Netherlands to Kabul, Afghanistan. The flight will deliver 100 tonnes of life-saving materials to supply EU-funded humanitarian partners. The flight is fully EU funded and is part of ongoing Air Bridge flights to critical areas of the world.

Today the Commission recommends to Schengen Member States and Schengen Associated States to lift internal border controls by 15 June 2020 and to prolong the temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU until 30 June 2020; and sets out an approach to progressively lifting the restriction afterwards.

As part of the EU's global response to the coronavirus outbreak, the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis has mobilised an additional €55 million for refugees from Syria and vulnerable persons in Jordan and Lebanon to fight the pandemic. It will provide critical and targeted support in key areas such as health, water, sanitation and hygiene. The newly adopted package brings the total assistance mobilised through the EU Trust Fund to over €2.2 billion since 2015, doubling the target originally set.

The coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by a massive wave of false and misleading information, attempts by foreign actors to influence domestic debates in the EU, breeding on the fertile ground of people’s most basic anxieties and the rapidly changing news cycle. Misleading healthcare information, dangerous hoaxes with false claims conspiracy theories and consumer fraud endanger public health.

The coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by a massive wave of false and misleading information, attempts by foreign actors to influence domestic debates in the EU, breeding on the fertile ground of people’s most basic anxieties and the rapidly changing news cycle. Misleading healthcare information, dangerous hoaxes with false claims conspiracy theories and consumer fraud endanger public health.

The Council approved conclusions on the "Team Europe" package that is part of the EU's global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monsieur le Président de la Commission de l’océan Indien,

Messieurs les Ministres et Chefs de délégation,

Monsieur le Secrétaire Général de la Commission de l’océan Indien et son équipe

Mesdames et Messieurs les Officiers Permanents de Liaison,

Mesdames et Messieurs les Membres  du Corps Diplomatique,

Today, the European Commission is announcing a pledge of €300 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for the period 2021–2025. It will help immunise 300 million children around the world and finance vaccine stockpiles to shield against outbreaks of infectious diseases.

In the context of World Oceans Day on 8 June, the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Mauritius and to the Republic of Seychelles is organising, in collaboration with the French Embassy, the AFD and the local branch of the Région Réunion in Mauritius, a free webinar entitled "Innovation and biodiversity: a blue deal for the Indian Ocean?".

The Council today adopted a decision to provide up to 3 billion euros of macro-financial assistance to ten enlargement and neighbourhood partners to help them cope with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today the European Commission announced an additional €50 million in humanitarian aid to help respond to the dramatic increase in humanitarian needs caused by the Coronavirus pandemic globally. The new funding follows increased appeals by humanitarian organisations, including the UN Global Appeal.

“The coronavirus pandemic is impacting every country and region of the world and every aspect of our lives. The pandemic and its socio-economic consequences are having a disproportionate impact on the rights of persons with disabilities such as in terms of equal access to health care, support services, and education.

Representatives of the EU Member States, the Western Balkans and Turkey, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, as well as representatives of the central banks of the Western Balkans and Turkey[1] met for their annual economic policy dialogue[2]. The dialogue aims at preparing the Western Balkans and Turkey for the future participation in the European Semester.

As part of its emergency support package to tackle the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the EU is setting up a temporary instrument to help workers keep their jobs during the crisis.
EU ambassadors today reached a political agreement on SURE, a temporary scheme which can provide up to €100 billion of loans under favourable terms to member states.

A contact tracing and warning app is voluntarily installed and used to warn users if they have been in proximity for a certain duration to a person who reported to have been tested positive of COVID-19.

The EU is reflecting on key lessons and implications that the COVID-19 pandemic presents for its security and defence. The aim is to be ready to confront possible security consequences of the current pandemic and to become better prepared and resilient for the future.

The European Commission has published detailed guidance on how coronavirus-related humanitarian aid can be sent to countries and areas around the world that are subject to EU sanctions.

The European Commission has set up an EU Humanitarian Air Bridge to transport humanitarian workers and emergency supplies for the coronavirus response to some of most critical areas around the world.

EU ambassadors today endorsed a Commission proposal to provide up to 3 billion euros of macro-financial assistance to ten enlargement and neighbourhood partners to help them cope with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic impacts every country and region of the world and every aspect of our lives. It has reminded us how interconnected we are. Nobody will be safe in any country as long as the pandemic rages in different parts of the world. Respect for all human rights must remain at the heart of fighting the pandemic and supporting the global recovery.

I am very proud and I am relieved that the start of this very important project was so successful. The world showed extraordinary unity for the common good. And Europe has made a significant contribution. We got EUR 7.4 billion today and – the exchange rate is friendly to us – it is more than USD 8 billion. Of these USD 8 billion, ‘team Europe' – that is the European Union and its Member States – contributed more than EUR 4 billion.

On 4 May, High Representative/Vice-President Borrell held a phone call with the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, Abdulaziz Kamilov, to discuss the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, the EU’s support to Uzbekistan in respect of this challenge, the EU-Uzbekistan bilateral agenda, and broader regional issues relating to Central Asia.

Following last week's delivery to Italy, more batches of FFP2 protective masks are being distributed this weekend to Spain, Italy and Croatia from rescEU - the first ever common European reserve of medical equipment set up last month to help countries affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

On World Press Freedom Day, we pay tribute to the essential role of journalism in upholding online and offline freedom of expression in democratic societies and fostering transparency and accountability. The COVID-19 crisis has brought the importance of the work of the press into sharp relief. In times of uncertainty, more than ever, access to reliable fact-checked information, that is free from undue interference and influence, is crucial and contributes to a more resilient society. It is a matter of concern that the COVID-19 pandemic is being used in some countries as a pretext for imposing undue restrictions on freedom of the press.

The Council today adopted conclusions stating the EU's determination to stand by the people of South Sudan in their quest for peace and prosperity, and in facing the consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which risks having far-reaching humanitarian and economic consequences on the newfound stability of the country.

Today, the European Commission is proposing €279 million in financial support for Portugal, Spain, Italy and Austria, to provide relief to the population of several regions in these four countries hit by natural disasters in 2019. This funding comes on top of the €800 million for 2020 available under the EU Solidarity Fund.

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world, the European Union and its Member States have observed cyber threats and malicious cyber activities targeting essential operators in Member States and their international partners, including in the healthcare sector. Since the beginning of the pandemic, significant phishing and malware distribution campaigns, scanning activities and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks have been detected, some affecting critical infrastructures that are essential to managing this crisis.

On International Workers Day on 1 May, the EU’s Myan Ku Emergency Cash Fund transfers the first payments to garment workers who have been suspended or terminated due to the impact the COVID-19 crisis has on Myanmar’s garment sector.

The European Commission received its first preliminary application for financial support from the EU Solidarity Fund from Italy to address the coronavirus outbreak and its effects. Italy is expected to submit further details in the weeks to come.

The COVID-19 crisis is affecting us all. Countries around the world are struggling with its effects and experiencing an unprecedented negative economic fallout. Lebanon is no exception: the country is coping with the COVID-19 crisis with limited resources and against the backdrop of a preceding financial and economic crisis.

Immunization saves millions of lives every year. This year, the World Immunization Week takes on greater significance than ever since the Covid-19 outbreak reveals what is at stake when communities do not have the protective shield of immunization against an infectious disease.  The global pandemic is a stark reminder of how fast an outbreak can spread without a vaccine to protect people and communities. 

As part of its plan to support partner countries around the globe, the European Union (EU) is mobilising €350 million to fight against the spread of the coronavirus and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the ASEAN region.

EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca delivered today samples of COVID-19 testing control material to the Institute of Public Health of Albania, the country’s Covid-19 testing authority. The donation is part of the broader EU assistance to Albania to fight COVID-19. The newly-designed control material is being used by laboratories in the EU to check the correct functioning of the coronavirus tests.

The European Union is joining forces with global partners to kick-start a pledging effort – the Coronavirus Global Response – starting on 4 May 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) and global health organisations have launched a joint call for action to develop fast and equitable access to safe, quality, effective and affordable diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines against coronavirus.

The coronavirus pandemic affects practically every country in the world. Past experiences have shown that even with the availability of effective tools at the world's disposal, some are protected, while others are not. This inequity is unacceptable – all tools to address the pandemic must be available to all.

I am proud of sharing the screen today with our partners worldwide, to deliver a message of hope. Hope that we can defeat coronavirus together. And that we can go back to our normal lives, sooner rather than later.

The European Union, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and World Vision are providing Education, Sanitary, and Food packages to the most vulnerable children and their families affected by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) impact in Ulaanbaatar and Selenge.

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The Council today adopted new rules intended to minimise the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on the most deprived EU citizens. The amendments to the regulation on the fund for aid to the most deprived (FEAD) will make it easier for member states, partner organisations and other parties involved to access the fund and protect their staff involved in distributing the aid. Around 13 million EU citizens benefit from the fund each year. The new rules are expected to enter into force by the end of the week.

The European Commission welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of the proposal to postpone by one year the date of application of the Medical Devices Regulation. This will allow all key players - Member States, health institutions and economic operators to give priority to the fight against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, forming a key position in the timing of the lifting of confinement measures as Member States return to the road of recovery.

Thank you very much Charles,
I can seamlessly follow up on your words. The health situation is by far not fully under control and many Member States have not yet reached the peak. At the same time, we already know that the scale, the speed and the impact of the economic crisis is unprecedented in modern times.

I would first like to thank all our health workers, doctors and researchers who are working around the clock to save lives. I would also like to offer words of support to those who are ill and are fighting the virus as we speak. This pandemic is putting our societies under serious strain. The well-being of each EU member state depends on the well-being of the whole of the EU.

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Good evening. Although the coronavirus and its implications are still high on our agenda, today’s discussion is already an indication that we are gradually returning to core foreign policy issues.

We started with brief exchanges on the current affairs regarding Libya, Turkey and Afghanistan.

On Libya, it is sad to say that the situation does not improve. Neither international appeals, nor the threat of the spread of coronavirus, have managed to stop the warring parties from fighting. The fighting continues and is even increasing.

On 21, April, High Representative/Vice-President Borrell held a phone call with the Foreign Minister of Belarus, Vladimir Makei, to discuss the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, the EU’s support to Belarus in light of this challenge, and the wider EU-Belarus agenda.

On 21 April, High Representative Josep Borrell had a phone call with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia.

The Commission has adopted a proposal for a €3 billion macro-financial assistance (MFA) package to ten enlargement and neighbourhood partners to help them to limit the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The proposal comes on top of the ‘Team Europe' strategy, the EU's robust and targeted response to support partner countries' efforts in tackling the coronavirus pandemic. It represents an important demonstration of the EU's solidarity with these countries at a time of unprecedented crisis.

On Tuesday 21 April, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell held a phone call with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba. The call took place one day ahead of the meeting with EU Foreign Affairs Ministers, where Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership are on the agenda. 

The EU is taking further urgent measures to make the best use of cohesion policy money to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Council today adopted a second legislative act in less than a month amending the rules on the use of EU structural funds, which underpin EU cohesion policy. These changes allow member states to refocus resources on crisis-related operations.

Annual report on acute food security and nutrition published today
Today an international alliance of UN, governmental, and nongovernmental agencies working to address the root causes of extreme hunger have released a new edition of their annual Global Report on Food Crises.

Brussels, 20/04/2020

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Thank you for this opportunity to discuss the implications of this pandemic in EU foreign affairs and for your strong support to a joint EU response to this global crisis. Because it is really a global crisis which is affecting all geopolitical aspects.