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Parliamentary questions
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6 May 2020
Answer given by Ms Gabriel
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-001422/2020

Since 2007, the Commission invested over EUR 100 million in coronavirus research. In November 2019, SARS-CoV-2 emerged and on 30 January 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. On that same day, the Commission launched an emergency call to advance knowledge on COVID-19(1), for which 91 proposals were received. The excellent quality of proposals, led the Commission to allocate EUR 48.5 million to support 18 projects that aim to develop diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines, as well as an improved public health response(2).

The Commission has invested heavily in research to prepare for public health emergencies. It supported the establishment of clinical research networks in Europe, Africa and South America to ensure preparedness for responding to urgent research needs across national and continental borders(3). Projects such as PREPARE(4), supported since 2014 with EUR 24 million, and the European Virus Archive(5), supported with EUR 12.2 million since 2015, are contributing to the fight against COVID-19. The Commission will also co-finance COVID-19 clinical research to be conducted in sub-Saharan Africa(6).

The Commission is working with the world’s major research funders through the ‘Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness’(7), to coordinate a rapid research response and support the development of treatments and public health measures against this pandemic. It also supports the innovative company CureVac with up to EUR 80 million(8).

On 26 March 2020, the President of the European Council and the President of the Commission stated that Europe stands ready to set up an international online pledging event to ensure adequate funding to develop and deploy a vaccine against COVID-19(9).

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