December 31, 2019 – An outbreak of a disease caused by a novel coronavirus is reported in Wuhan, China
An outbreak of a disease caused by a novel coronavirus is registered in the Chinese municipality of Wuhan, quickly spreading to other regions of China and the world. Later, the World Health Organisation officially recognises the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2 and the disease is named COVID-19.
28 January – EU Council presidency activates IPCR in information sharing mode
The Croatian presidency decided to activate the EU’s integrated political crisis response mechanism (IPCR) in information sharing mode.
IPCR is the EU framework for coordination of cross-sectoral crises. Through this mechanism, the presidency of the Council coordinates the political response to the crisis at the highest level.
Regular situational awareness and analysis reports by the Commission and the European External Action Service are produced and shared with member states through a dedicated web platform.
Croatian presidency activates EU’s Integrated Crisis Response in relation to COVID19.
13 February – Extraordinary Health Council adopts conclusions on COVID-19
EU health ministers adopt conclusions on COVID-19 calling upon the European Commission to:
- continue coordination on risk assessment and guidance on travel advice
- increase preparedness should the outbreak escalate to the next phase
- activate of existing funding mechanisms to support member states preparedness
- strengthened support to the Health Security Committee
7 February – EU health ministers hold informal high-level video conference
The Croatian presidency organises an informal high-level videoconference. Member states, together with representatives of the European Commission and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) review the state of play regarding the outbreak.
21 February – COVID-19 cases increase within the EU
A significant increase of COVID-19 cases are registered in Northern Italy. At the same time, many other member states started reporting cases of people infected.
27 February – Competitiveness ministers look at impact of COVID-19 on EU industry
The European Commission shared with the Council its first assessment of the potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on EU industry. The Commission drew member states’ attention to the importance of sharing critical information and coordinating any measures taken at EU level.