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RescEU facility for stockpiling of the EU medical equipment to be set up in Lithuania 


2023 12 13


From 2024, Lithuania will provide a facility to accommodate the European Union medical stockpile provisions required to manage cross-border threats and to ensure an effective response to crises at the Community level. As part of the rescEU project, Lithuania will set up a warehouse to store medical supplies to meet the requirements of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The European Commission will allocate 97 million euros for the provision of this facility.

“The hosting of one of the EU’s medical stockpiles in Lithuania is a major responsibility for our country. This project is important for building safe living conditions for Europeans in the face of crises and threats, and can only be successfully implemented with the harmonious cooperation of all professionals in the field. There is no doubt that the National Crisis Centre, the Ministries of Health and the Interior and other institutions have an important role to play in this process,” Giedrė Balčytytė, the Chancellor of the Government, said.

“European Commission’s decision confirms Lithuania’s ability to provide assistance at the EU level - it is not only a recognition of the competences of the Lithuanian authorities, but also a result of the excellent work of our diplomatic service, coordinating the efforts to set up such a centre in our country. At the same time, it is also a significant European responsibility. The ability of other countries to respond immediately and appropriately to emerging cross-border threats to the health and lives of their populations will depend on the proper and coordinated actions of Lithuania,” Jurgita Grebenkovienė, Chancellor of the Ministry of Health, noted.

Since 2020, the European Commission, together with EU Member States, has already set up medical stockpiles in 12 countries, including France, Finland and neighbouring Poland.

The project will entail stockpiling medicines and personal protective equipment in Lithuania, that may be required by any EU country in the event of a crisis situation or threat to the health of the population, first responders, healthcare providers, and civilians, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats.

Where the need to cope with threats exceeds the resources available and a Member State needs additional EU assistance, the affected country can apply to the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) for assistance. The European Commission assesses the request and decides from which rescEU warehouse it will be provided and what is required. The ERCC facilitates the delivery of supplies, coordinates the transfer of expert knowledge, the deployment of civil protection, medical specialists and equipment, the mobilisation of other resources from EU countries participating in the rescEU, and the provision of financial and technical assistance.

In Lithuania, the project will be implemented by the Ministry of Health and the Health Emergency Situations Centre (ESSC), in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior, the Fire and Rescue Department, the National Crisis Management Centre, the State Medicines Control Service and other institutions.

When coordinating the activities of the rescEU warehouse, the ESSC will have to ensure that the aid shipment is sent to the disaster or crisis area within 12 hours of the request for assistance through the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre.

The agreement to set up the rescEU facility in Lithuania, that was signed on 24 November, provides that implementation of the project will begin on 1 January 2024. The duration of the project will be 33 months.

SAM Communications Division