EU is on track to vaccinate 70% of adult population by end of July

Leaders asked the Commission to swiftly put forward the Fit for 55 legislative package, together with an in-depth examination of the environmental, economic and social impact at Member State level

Photo: EU Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel before the press conference on Tuesday.

Covid-19 was one of the two key topics on the menu of the European Council meeting on Tuesday and the EU leaders confirmed that the pace of vaccinations has accelerated across the EU and this along with an improvement in the general epidemiological situation, will allow for a gradual reopening “of our societies”.

But they made the stipulation that it is needed to stay vigilant regarding the emergence and spread of variants. Ongoing work to step up vaccine production and secure adequate supply throughout the EU will be key, they detailed.

Our EU agreement on a Covid Digital Certificate is good news, EUCO President Charles Michel stressed pointing out that it will make travel easier, kick start jobs, relaunch the economies and getting back to normal life. “Today EU27 leaders pushed to adapt their common approach to travel by mid-June”, he also said.

EC President Ursula von der Leyem specified that the EU “made great progress” in the fight against Covid-19”. She announced that just this week over 300 million doses will have been delivered in the EU countries.

According to her, Europe is on track to have enough doses delivered to vaccinate 70% of the adult population by end of July. We must now focus on consolidating this progress by vaccinating minors and tracking variants, she slso said.

Von der Leyen underlined that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will have a global monitoring in place with variant maps and this will held Europe stay one-step ahead of the virus and adapt the strategies quickly.

For her, the agreement on the EU Digital Covid Certificate “was a major milestone”. She explained that the IT infrastructure will be ready at EU level as of 1 June. “Now Member States have to ensure that national systems are fed with citizens’ health status data so certificates can be issued”.

With a view to facilitating free movement in the EU, EU leaders called for the revision by mid-June of the Council recommendation on travel within the EU and welcomed the revision of the recommendation on non-essential travel into the EU.

On the climate effort, the European Council asked the Commission to swiftly put forward its legislative package together with an in-depth examination of the environmental, economic and social impact at Member State level.

We want to reach our ambitious objective of climate neutrality, while taking into account the different situations in member states, the EUCO President commented adding: “We share a commitment to move forward to balanced solutions that stimulate innovation”.

Saying that the Commission will present soon the Fit for 55 legislative package, von der Leyen highlighted that she is confident the EU can build an economy that is both clean and prosperous.

I listened to Member States’ views on how to do this fairly and effectively, she stressed noting that “Today, we continued discussing how to achieve our climate goals.

The new package will contain 12 proposals combining carbon pricing, targets and standards that should reduce emissions, drive green innovation and foster the investments needed.

As this package will totally overhaul the EU climate policy, the new EU countries which economies are heavily dependent on coal still feel under pressure about this shift.

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