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Parliamentary questions
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8 April 2021
E-001887/2021
Question for written answer  E-001887/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Markéta Gregorová (Verts/ALE), Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE), Tilly Metz (Verts/ALE), Francisco Guerreiro (Verts/ALE)
 Subject: Connecting rescEU stockpiling with the circular economy

The rescEU medical reserve and distribution mechanism helps the EU to react to the COVID‑19 pandemic in a timely manner. In the past, the stockpiling focused particularly on the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE). Given the current development, a growing demand for available and safe PPE can be expected. With the envisaged extension of the Commission’s role in rescEU (direct procurement), it is of great importance to also take into consideration the environmental aspect of the stockpiling.

Despite recyclable and reusable PPE offering the same or even a higher level of protection, disposable PPE has been so far prioritised in rescEU stockpiling. Concerning the rescEU guidelines for PPE:

1. Does the Commission take into consideration the environmental aspect of products?

2. Will it implement steps to change the existing imbalance between disposable and reusable PPE?

3. Will it modify existing guidelines for PPE procurement to promote reusable alternatives that are consistent with other key EU initiatives (such as those on the circular economy) and represent reduced risk for the environment?

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