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Parliamentary questions
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11 March 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Milan Uhrík
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Detention of urgent important medical material between EU Member States

On 4 March 2020, the German crisis team made a decision to temporarily detain a shipping container in Hamburg. This container was intended for the Slovak Republic and contained medical and protective equipment earmarked for hospitals and medical facilities, especially in the urgent fight against the coronavirus epidemic. The container also contained respirators earmarked for the protection of people against infection from viral diseases.

Other European countries, such as Austria and Switzerland, have also complained of similar seizures of medical devices within the EU. It is also known that Germany has issued an embargo on the export of protective respirators. By confiscating all stocks of protective medical devices, France has taken an even more radical approach to the issue of scarcity of protective medical devices.

As a Member of the European Parliament and a citizen of the Slovak Republic, I find it unacceptable that any EU Member State would withhold the urgent transport of scarce and existentially important medical material to another EU Member State.

In the light of the above:

What measures does the Commission intend to take in order not to jeopardise mutual solidarity and to ensure that there are no future obstructions or seizures of urgently required medical supplies in the territory of other Member States in the future, in particular when dealing with emergency events?

Original language of question: SK
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