The Estonian government has tasked the Ministry of Finance with submitting an application to the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) for the allocation of money to Estonia to cover the costs of the public health emergency caused by the novel coronavirus.
Depending on the amount of funds to be received, EUSF monies can be used if possible to cover the costs of procurements of personal protective equipment (PPE) by the Ministry of Finance, the Government Office and the Ministry of Social Affairs, spokespeople for the government said on Tuesday.
In addition, the Ministry of Finance and the State Shared Service Center were also tasked with establishing a management and control system for the administration and control of these resources and to appoint responsible institutions.
The application for aid from the EUSF must be submitted to the European Commission no later than June 4. The application must detail all costs incurred by the state in connection with the emergency situation.
The EUSF was established in 2002 to respond to major natural disasters and express European solidarity to disaster-stricken regions within Europe. The fund was created in reaction to severe floods in Central Europe in summer 2002. Since then, it has been used to respond to 80 disasters, covering a range of different catastrophic events including floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought. Thus far, a total of 24 different European countries have been supported in the total amount of over €5 billion.
In response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Commission expanded the scope of the EUSF as of April 1 to encompass major public health emergencies.
The European Commission will collect applications of all member states by June 24 and assess them together in order to ensure the equal treatment of all member states. The Commission will then propose an amount of aid to the European Parliament and the Council, who must approve it.
Editor: Aili Vahtla