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Estonia turns to EU Solidarity Fund in order to request support for covering COVID-19 costs

12. May 2020 - 19:05

Tallinn, Stenbock House, 12 May 2020 – The government instructed the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Affairs to submit an application to the European Union Solidarity Fund to allocate funds to cover the costs of the COVID-19 related public health emergency.

Depending on the volume of the funds received, the resources of the Solidarity Fund may be used, if possible, to cover the procurement costs for personal protective equipment for the Ministry of Finance, the Government Office and the Ministry of Social Affairs. In addition, the Ministry of Finance and the State Shared Service Centre were tasked with setting up a management and control system in order to manage and control funds and to designate responsible authorities.

The Solidarity Fund application must be submitted to the European Commission by 4 June 2020, at the latest. The application must set out all of the expenses related to the health emergency declared by the state, on the basis of which the possible amount of support for Estonia is calculated.

The European Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was created in 2002 in order to respond to major natural disasters. The Fund was created as a reaction to the severe floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002. With the changes that entered into force in April of this year, the scope of the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) has been extended, allowing it to finance the mitigation of public health emergencies.

The European Commission is collecting applications from all corona virus affected EU Member States until 24 June 2020, and will then assess them in a way that ensures equal treatment of all incidents. The commission will then submit a proposal for financial aid to the European Parliament and the Council.

When processing the applications, the Commission will not give priority to the applications that were received first, but will instead review all of the applications together. Doing so ensures that the available resources are distributed fairly and equitably among all Member States that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 health emergency.