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Top priority of governments in containing the COVID-19 pandemic is “flattening the curve” which implies a slowing down of the virus’ spread across the entire population. The situation which European policymakers are facing at the moment is completely new and only few of them have the required experience to handle a disaster of such magnitude. What is important now is to avoid problems that repeatedly occurred in past disaster responses by learning the lessons and acting accordingly. This paper reflects on European disaster management in containing the spread of COVID-19 and uncovers response inefficiencies that are still present.