The COVID19 pandemic constitutes an unprecedented challenge for Europe. It requires urgent, decisive, and comprehensive action not least at regional and local levels.
The EPP-led local and regional authorities are doing their best to fight the coronavirus through concrete actions on the ground. They are also taking actions at EU level to ensure that necessary policy decisions are taken to reinforce their medical resources as well as to help villages, cities and regions fight the economic consequences of the pandemic and save jobs.
Through this page, we want to share some of our best practices as well as update you on all our initiatives and campaigns to stop the spread of the pandemic.
Actions by EPP-Led authorities
– As a response to the Covid19 crisis, the Region of Thessaly, took a number of initiatives. A telemedicine system is in place for the citizens, 7 million euros were invisted in medical equipment, 11.5 million euros were invested for the recruitment of doctors, nursing staff and consumables and 2.5 million euros obtained through donations were used to obtain medical equipment and consumables for the hospitals of the Region. The Region provided free online kindergarten services and developed an application in order to simplify the connection between students and teachers.–Konstantinos Agorastos, Governor of The Region of Thessaly.
– The North Rhine-Westphalia region has provided intensive treatment to Italian and French patients suffering from #covid19. Support is also being provided to SMEs through loans, tax reduction, compensation for quarantine and grants. Thousands of small businesses, freelancers and self-employed in North Rhine-Westphalia have received more than €3.5 billion. The average processing time for applications was 8 days. – Armin Laschet, Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia.
– The City of Nice and the Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur, represented by Agnes Rampal, has taken a series of measures to counteract the pandemic. The Council ensured acquisition of protective personal equipment including for citizens, disinfected public places, provided meals to those supporting vulnerable people, supported SMEs through grants and partial payment of rent, distributed books, organised online music classes and held online sports activities.
– The state of Bavaria set up a Euro 60 billion Bayern Fonds to help the region withstand the corona virus outbreak and relief the burden on numerous sectors of the economy. The fund allows the Bavarian government to buy stakes in struggling companies to prevent insolvencies and job losses as well as to provide guarantees and loans. In addition funds were immediately paid to small companies to help them cope with the economic impact of the corona virus. Companies with a number of employees between 50 and 250 can apply for an emergency aid of €50,000. One-person operations can apply for a €9,000 subsidy. Other measures taken include tax deferrals and a reduction in the VAT from 19% to 7% for one year in the catering sector. Furthermore, the state paid a € 500 bonus to health professionals and carers to honour their achievements, started a corona research project with a team of virologists and epidemiologists supporting international research and doubled sports funding and supported artists through a Euro 1000 grant per month. – Markus Söder, Minister President of Bavaria
– A letter has been sent to the European Committee of the Regions to emphasise that localised, step-by-step approaches will be needed in lifting lockdowns. Accordingly, the letter calls for local and regional authorities to be involved in the decision-making processes. This would also ensure that lockdowns are eased in an organised and systematic way. – Michael Murphy – Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council, Head of the Irish delegation.
– The Lombardy region in Italy has put in place a three-year investment plan worth €3 billion, with €400 million earmarked for local authorities and €2.6 billion to support the local economy (including €400 million for strategic investments). Of the €400 million for local authorities, Milan and surrounding areas will receive €51 million for public works (roads and schools); the remainder can be spent by other communities on – for example – energy efficiency, renewable energy, urban re-development and sustainable development, sustainable mobility, heritage, and hydro-geological works. Separately, the region has set aside €10 million to produce medical and personal protective equipment, and €82 million in bonuses for health workers who have been involved in combating the epidemiological emergency. – Alessandro Fermi – President of the Regional Council of Lombardy
– In the Košice Self-governing Region protective equipment is sawn by school and social service staff. Every week, the region distributes 4,000 canvas face masks. The teachers of secondary schools specialised in fashion and clothing are contributing to such efforts. Furthermore, the region provides more than 1,200 rooms in its school dorms (currently unused due to school interruption). Cultural regional institutions are offering visitors a virtual visit of their premises via the web or social media. With regards to care, protective equipment is distributed to outpatient clinics in all districts to those physicians currently in charge, including to some 479 dental clinics, 372 general practitioners, 188 paediatric clinics and 50 lung centres. The regional Volunteering Centre is working nonstop to protect the elderly, as local population counts 123,000 elderly citizens (+65 years old). – Rastislav Trnka, Chairman of Košice Self Region
– The region of Attica set up a seven-member committee in collaboration with the Medical Association of Athens at the very beginning of pandemic, to set up preventive measures against the coronavirus and supervising the crisis. A wide range of measures were undertaken by local authorities. They include a free electronic platform where citizens can videocall a doctor and a 24-hour call centre to register complaints against illicit profiteering, report cases of social isolation of elderly citizens and other needs. Other initiatives include education: the region called public services, educational structures, distance learning institutions, companies and shops to support remote learning for children and the elderly. Finally, the Greek government endorsed a proposal by the Attica government to increase measures to protect elderly care, including closing so-called ‘Centers of Open Protection for the Elderly’. – Georgios Patoulis, Governor of the Region of Attica
– Several meetings are being held with national authorities to discuss the use of #ESF to help citizens and measures to support workers. The local government is continuing to play an important social role during the covid19 crisis supplying food and medicines to the most deprived. – Jan Trei, Mayor of Viimsi Rural Municipality
– To respond to the corona virus crisis, the Virovitica-Podravina County set up a team to help entrepreneurs apply for a COVID-19 scheme to maintain entrepreneurs’ liquidity, provided protective equipment for front liners including health professionals, distributed tablets to students to support distance learning and delivered food and medicines to the elderly. – Igor Andrović, Mayor of Virovitičko-Podravska Zupanija
– As a response to the #coronavirus crisis, the Municipality of Sofia has taken a number of measures. Tenants of municipal property will not be charged for rent throughout the period in which they are closed and a guarantee fund of 1 million BGN has been launched to support SMEs. In addition, an initiative to support artists and cultural operators was created. The Municipality is also providing free meals to vulnerable people and introduced enhanced checks on physical distance measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic. – Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia
– The City of Espoo has prepared a 25-point package of measures to support companies as well as sports and cultural sectors. – Markku Markkula, Espoo City Council
– The municipality of Póvoa de Varzim has adopted a preemptive and proactive approach, in order to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19, by implementing several local initiatives. For instance, the creation of an interactive online map aimed at promoting the traditional commerce and of a free HelpLine to support victims and people with mental health needs. Moreover, and along with the daily disinfection of public spaces, we have also been conducting around 110 coronavirus tests a day thanks to our Drive-Thru Test Centre – Aires Pereira, Mayor of Póvoa de Varzim
– The Region of Murcia launched a series of measures to tackle the corona virus including teleEduca to help students withe their studies and is supporting students who do not have access to e-learning, a protocol for those visiting residences for the elderly and tax measures to alleviate the economic burden of families and entrepreneurs – Fernando López Miras, President of the Region of Murcia
– The municipality of Gdansk purchased 2200 tests for front liners fighting the pandemic. In addition, 140 sterile masks, 8000 suits, 600L of soap, 1800L of disinfectant and 260 pairs of gloves have been ordered to protect health professionals and those offering critical services. The Municipality is also gathering IT equipment for teachers and students to facilitate remote learning. – Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Mayor of Gdańsk
– The City of Athens, is collaborating with health professionals to provide tests for the elderly as well as disinfecting public areas to fight the pandemic. The Mayor has been holding meetings with over 45 Mayors, including the Mayor of Seoul, to exchange good practices. – Kostas Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens
– As a response to the Covid19 crisis, the City of Warsaw is taking a number of initiatives which include providing a support package for the cultural sector, exchanging information with the international community including Chinese authorities, disinfecting public places, providing personal protective equipment for health professionals and organising online Q&A with citizens. – Rafał Trzaskowski, President of the capital city of Warsaw
– The Municipality of Estepona has paid over €2.4 million to service providers during the month of March. Invoices are being settled within 7 days to support SMEs in these challenging times. Public places and other areas such as centres for persons with a disability and the elderly have been disinfected. The municipality is also supporting 3D printing initiatives converting diving masks for medical purposes. Parks and beaches have been closed to contain the spread of the pandemic. – José María Garciía Urbano, Mayor Estepona Municipal Council
– The state of Hesse has taken a number of measures to ease the impact of the covid19 pandemic. These include: funding schemes for companies, self-employed and other economic actors such as agriculture, family friendly measures to support parents whose income has been reduced, child care of children whose parents work in the health sector. – Mark Weinmeister, State Secretary for European Affairs, Land of Hesse
– The City Hall of Cugir purchased 4 ventilation devices, 14 oxygen devices, protective material needed by the medical staff of the City Hospital and social workers as well as devices and disinfectants necessary to disinfect common areas of buildings and streets. Also, the necessary food, hygiene products and medicines are being bought for vulnerable people and the elderly to stop the spread of the pandemic. – Adrian Teban, Mayor of Cugir.
– The Municipality of Gabrovo is recruiting volunteers to carry out various activities that counteract the spread of COVID19. These include shopping and delivery of food, medicines and other essential products for the elderly as well as supporting information campaigns on how to prevent the spread of the pandemic. In addition, the Gabrovo textile company MAC started to produce protective clothing for health professionals. – Tanya Hristova, Mayor of Gabrovo Municipality
– The Municipality of Prešov invested in an electric vehicle to deliver food and medicine for the elderly. Protective clothing is also being provided to the most vulnerable people in society. – Andrea Turčanová, Mayor of Prešov
– The regional council of Pays De La Loire is investing €3M to buy masks for hospitals, €4.3M to support cultural and sports organizations that had events cancelled and €56M to support SMEs. Students who were forced to stop their studies will continue to be supported through scholarships. In order to stop the spread of COVID19, public transport service has been reduced. – Vanessa Charbonneau, Member of the Regional Council of Pays de la Loire
– Thousands of masks, gloves and antiseptic hand soap bottles have been delivered to health centers in the Region of Central Macedonia, Greece. Residents can also consult specialized doctors online to reduce the spread of the pandemic. The Governor of Central Macedonia will be also donating 50% of his salary for the next two months to support the fight against covid19. – Apostolos Tzitzikostas, Governor of Central Macedonia and President of CoR
– Commissioner Eddy van Hijum from the Province of Overijssel is virtually visiting SMEs and family businesses using digital tools such as Zoom and Skype to learn more about the challenges being faced, as a result of the corona virus crisis, to raise them on the agenda at National and EU level. – Eddy van Hijum, Representative of the Provincial Council of the Province of Overijssel
– In Andalucía, 7400 more health professionals have been mobilised and 26,000 extra beds have been added to deal with the Corona Virus. The first clinical trial on a patient with a respirator designed in Andalucia has been successfully completed! The prototype ‘Málaga Respira’ was developed in less than a week by Andalusian doctors and engineers and passed the first test with a real patient in Antequera. – Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla, President of Andalucía
– In Mazovia 150 million PLN of EU funds have been mobilized to buy necessary equipment for hospitals to be in a better position to fight the Corona Virus. The region signed an agreement to buy nearly 7000 tests for hospital workers. With the help of EU Funding, doctors, paramedics and other health professionals do not have to wait for more than 50 hours to have a result. – Adam Struzik, President Mazovia Region
– The Region of Sicily has launched a series of measures to help SMEs face economic challenges. These measures include bank guarantees, bank moratoria and late payment schemes. – Gaetano Armao, Vice-President and Regional Minister for Economy of the Region of Sicily
– The City of Madrid launched an App to help those in doubt of being infected to seek information swiftly and more effectively as well as personalised recommendations. In Addition, all patients who need to collect their medication from hospitals can now do so from their pharmacy. In case of mobility problems, medicine will be delivered at home. – Isabel Natividad Diaz Ayuso, President of the Community of Madrid.
– The Regional Goverment of Piemonte has opened a hospital to assist patients who have overcome the critical phase of Covid19 but need further care. The hospital will have 55 rooms that will go up to 100. – Alberto Cirio, President of the Piedmont Region
– Through cooperation with the Air Force, the Region of Madeira has reinforced the stock of gloves, masks, disposable suits and glasses to support those fighting the pandemic. – Miguel Albuquerque, President of the Regional Government of Madeira
– The municipality of Braga provided accommodation for medical staff who need isolation, opened a screening centre for citizens, created a hot line to help senior citizens who need assistance to buy goods and medicines, offered shelter to the homeless, lifted city taxes for all local businesses which are closed and organised webinars to help SMEs thrive online. – Ricardo Rio, Mayor of Braga
– “A Single Cluj” is a project that mobilizes funding and resources for hospitals with the help of local and regional authorities as well as civil society initiatives to synchronise and centralize information during COVID19. – Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj Napoca
– In Westpomeranian Region, authorities are focusing on purchasing additional equipment and beds for hospitals. In addition, they are working on an anti-crisis package to reduce the negative impacts of Covid19 on our economy and save jobs. The Presidents of 16 Polish Regions, 24 Mayors of the biggest Polish cities and the President of our Group held a videoconference with Prime-Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on how to tackle COVID19. – Olgierd Geblewicz, President of the Westpomeranian Region and President of EPP-CoR Group
– The Municipality of Huddinge in Sweden has shifted its human resources to strengthen elderly care. – Jelena Drenjanin, Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Huddinge and Vice President of the EPP-CoR Group
– The Estepona Municipal Council (Málaga) is cleaning and disinfecting streets with special products to prevent the spread of the virus. This has been taking place on a daily basis for more than a week. – José María Garciía Urbano, Mayor Estepona Municipal Council
– In Harghita, Romania an extraordinary council approved 650.000 RON for health facilities. The President of the County is also reaching out to entrepreneurs and appealed for help to be able to buy more medical equipment. – Borboly Csaba, President of the Harghita County Council
– In Dubrovnik local authorities have prepared a students’ home and a hotel with necessary equipment to prepare for any eventuality of the outbreak. – Nikola Dobroslavić, President of the Dubrovnik-Neretva Region