The European Parliament discussed the COVID-19 outbreak with the Commission and the Croatian presidency on Tuesday, underlining the need to slow down the spread across Europe.
Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said COVID-19 was a public health emergency that is changing by the hour. Member states must focus on containing the virus to slow down its spread, so that health systems can cope and the impact on the economy and social life is limited as much as possible.
A number of EP political group leaders expressed their sympathy with those affected by the virus and their admiration for the health care personnel working to take care of those infected.
Many also highlighted the need for EU solidarity and for more funds to be put into researching the virus. Necessary medical supplies such as testing kits, masks and respiratory machines should be produced inside the EU and be made available to all member states.
Some MEPs said there was a need to have a common European risk assessment to ensure that the same measures would apply for areas with the same risk level. The need for common rules on entering the Schengen area was also raised by some.