One year ago, the European Commission and the High Representative set out plans for a targeted EU response to support partner countries' efforts in tackling the Coronavirus pandemic combining resources from the EU, its Member States and European financial institutions, as 'Team Europe'.
By January 2021, Team Europe had already supported partner countries around the world with more than €26 billion, 65% of the overall response package that now stands at over €40 billion and exceeding the original €20 billion pledged.
"We also need to start work now to ensure we are better prepared to address together future health crisis," von der Leyen stated in a press release on Thursday.
"This is why the European Commission and the Italian Presidency of the G20 will convene the Global Health Summit on May 21," she stated.
Team Europe is also working to ensure global, equitable access to covid-19 vaccines and supporting the rollout of vaccination campaigns, while exploring possibilities for boosting local manufacturing capacity.
The EU played a leading role in setting up the COVAX Facility, the global initiative that allows for high-income countries to fund vaccines for low and middle-income countries and where Team Europe is one of its leading donors, with over €2.2 billion.
Building on the success of the Team Europe approach, the EU and its Member States have agreed to step it up by jointly designing, funding and implementing Team Europe Initiatives.