The 27 heads of state and government are expected to adopt a statement at next week's teleconference next week calling for sanctions to be lifted, states to be vigilant about mutations, speeding up vaccinations, keeping commitments and strengthening the “health association” proposed by the Commission.
Specifically, according to a draft statement of the 27 for the pandemic seen by KYPE, the 27 state that “we are determined to continue to cooperate and coordinate our action to address the pandemic and its consequences.”
They note that “the epidemiological situation remains serious and the new mutations pose additional challenges”.
“Therefore, we must adhere to strict restrictions while stepping up efforts to speed up the supply of vaccines,” they warn.
The 27 state that “for the time being, unnecessary travel must be reduced. “We welcome the adoption of the two Council recommendations on travel within and within the EU. The smooth flow of goods and services in the single market must continue to be ensured.”
“Vaccination has now started in all our Member States and our vaccination strategy has ensured that all Member States have access to vaccines,” they said.
“However, we need to speed up the approval, production and distribution of vaccines, as well as vaccination, in the coming weeks and months,” the 27 noted in the draft.
“In this regard, we support the Commission's additional efforts to work with industry and the Member States to increase the capacity of current vaccine production,” they said.
“We support the Commission 's ongoing efforts to accelerate the availability of raw materials, to facilitate agreements between manufacturers in all supply chains, to cover existing installations to help increase production in the EU and to further research and develop vaccines to protect against mutations ”.
“We also need to improve our tracking and detection capabilities to detect mutations as soon as possible in order to control their spread,” they said.
They also emphasize that “companies must ensure the predictability of vaccine production and meet the contractual delivery deadlines.”
“We welcome the progress in a common approach to vaccination certificates and call for this work to continue,” they said of the proposal.
It is worth noting that this concerns the characteristics of strictly medical-only certificates and not the potential travel facilities that some states require to link to it.
They further note that “we reaffirm our solidarity with third countries. We remain committed to improving access to vaccines for priority groups in our neighborhood and beyond, based on common principles, and to supporting a global approach through the COVAX Facility. We welcome COVAX's first plans to distribute vaccines in 92 low- and middle-income countries. “
“We will continue to monitor the overall situation closely and take action as needed.”
“Although the COVID-19 crisis is not over, it is time to start strengthening our future health resilience,” they said.
“We will work to improve EU coordination, in line with the Union's responsibilities under the Treaties, to ensure better prevention, preparedness and response to future health emergencies.”
“As a matter of priority, work is needed to ensure that the EU has the means to provide enough vaccines and critical supplies for all its Member States, to support the whole process of developing innovative vaccines and medicines, including timely investment in capacity , and make better use of big data and digital technologies for medical research and healthcare ”.
“In this context, we welcome the Commission's intention to implement [a biological protection preparedness program].”
“We call on the Commission to submit a first report in good time before the June European Council meeting on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said.
“The report should also address information exchange, coordination, communication and public procurement, as well as how to ensure adequate productivity in the EU and the creation of strategic reserves, while supporting the diversification and resilience of global medical chains. supply. This work should continue in the second half of 2021 “, they note.
“Global multilateral cooperation is essential in addressing current and future health threats.”
“We are committed to promoting global health security, including through the strengthening of the World Health Organization and through an international pandemic treaty.”
“In this context, we look forward to the G20 Health Summit in Rome. “The work on the proposals for the creation of a Health Union must be promoted”, they conclude in the draft.