DISINFO: Coronavirus exposes the weakness of European humanism
Coronavirus has tested the resilience of Western democracies and above all of European solidarity. They both proved to be hollow. The critical point was the coronavirus outbreak in Italy which was left helpless by its European partners. Czechia seized a cargo of Chinese medical gear destined for Italy, Spain turned against Italy, and Germany preferred to close its borders. European inaction was also manifested by the comments made by Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic, who accused the Europeans for leaving his country helpless.
This message is part of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign around the Coronavirus epidemic – it promotes a narrative of the imminent collapse of the EU due to the problems caused by the Coronavirus epidemic. The EU is accelerating procurement and distribution of medical equipment for its Member States. The joint procurement of personal protective equipment launched by the European Commission is one of the major initiatives undertaken. Additionally, the Commission wants to directly support the healthcare systems of EU Member States in their fights against the coronavirus pandemic. To finance this action, the Commission is mobilising €3 billion from the EU budget, of which €2.7 billion will be channelled through the Emergency Support Instrument and €300 million though the rescEU medical equipment capacity. The Commission has also decided to create a strategic EU stockpile of medical equipment such as ventilators and protective masks to help EU countries. As far as it concerns the Western Balkans countries, a €38 million package in immediate support to tackle the health emergency caused by coronavirus was announced. Furthermore, the Commission decided to reallocate €374 million to help the socio-economic recovery of the region.