Michel: Authorisation, production and delivery of vaccines should be speeded up
At a videoconference EU leaders will continue work to define a common approach to immunisation certificatesEuropost , Brussels
On Thursday and Friday, the EU leaders will meet again via videoconference to continue their coordination work on the Covid-19 pandemic and advance other important issues on the agenda. It will take place against the background of continuing significant restrictions on movement, the introduction of border controls in part of the Schengen area and large losses for the economy.
Our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic continues and it remains challenging due to the emergence of new variants and the need to strike the right balance between restrictions and the smooth flow of goods and services in the single market, wrote EUCO President Charles Michel in his invitation letter to the members of the European Council.
In it, he underlined that the common priority continues to be to speed up vaccinations across the EU. He also explained the need for accelerating the authorisation process of vaccines, their production and delivery.
“It will require, for instance, looking at solutions to bring manufacturers across supply chains together in order to scale-up production in the EU. It also includes ensuring that vaccine deliveries are predictable and that pharmaceutical companies comply with their commitments”, he elaborated.
Michel pointed out that the new variants have become the dominant strains in many Member States and “this implies enhancing our sequencing capacity, and preparing the groundwork for vaccine updates”.
He asserted that restrictive measures on non-essential travel may still be needed to contain the spread of the virus, but the flow of goods and services in the single market, and the role played by the green lanes, remain essential.
The EUCO President underlined as well that “demonstrating solidarity with our partners, including through COVAX, is key”. According to him, the work should continue to define a common approach to vaccination certificates.
All Covid-19 related issues will be discussed on Thursday, while on Friday the leaders will start the session with Security and Defence.
With NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg they will exchange of views on EU-NATO cooperation. They will then discuss how to improve the collective capacity to respond to security challenges and threats. High Representative Borrell will update them on ongoing work on the Strategic Compass.
I would also like us to dedicate some time to cyber-attacks and hybrid threats which pose very real challenges to our security, Michel said adding that the relations with the Southern Neighbourhood will be also on the table for discussion.