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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on COVID 19 pandemic in Latin America

27.4.2021 - (2021/2645(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Željana Zovko, José Manuel Fernandes, Leopoldo López Gil, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, David McAllister, Michael Gahler, Gabriel Mato, Miriam Lexmann, Loránt Vincze, Krzysztof Hetman, Róża Thun und Hohenstein, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, David Lega, Romana Tomc, Tomáš Zdechovský, Peter Pollák, Christian Sagartz, Magdalena Adamowicz, Benoît Lutgen, Adam Jarubas, Janina Ochojska, Ivan Štefanec, Frances Fitzgerald, Lefteris Christoforou, Inese Vaidere, Paulo Rangel, Vangelis Meimarakis, Stanislav Polčák, Ioan‑Rareş Bogdan, Loucas Fourlas, Jiří Pospíšil, Antonio López‑Istúriz White, Eva Maydell, Vladimír Bilčík, Michaela Šojdrová
on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0239/2021

Proċedura : 2021/2645(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on TXTTITLE@TITLE@COVID 19 pandemic in Latin America


The European Parliament,

having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

 having regard to the declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) of 30 January 2020 that the COVID-19 outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC),

 having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 8 April 2020 on the Global EU response to COVID-19 (JOIN(2020)0011),

 having regard to the Declaration by the High Representative Josep Borrell, on behalf of the European Union, on human rights in the times of the coronavirus pandemic of 5 May 2020,

 having regard to the State of the Union address delivered by the President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen on 16 September 2020,

 having regard to the Commission consultation note of 16 June 2020 entitled ‘A renewed trade policy for a stronger Europe’,

 having regard to Council conclusions on ‘Team Europe’ Global Response to COVID-19 of 8 June 2020,

 having regard to European Council conclusions on the recovery plan and multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027 of 17-21 July 2020,

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 13 July 2020 on the EU priorities at the UN and the 75th UN General Assembly, under the theme ‘Championing multilateralism and a strong and effective UN that delivers for all’,

 having regard to the Declaration of 30 March 2020 by the Co-Presidents of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat) on the COVID-19 pandemic,

   having regard to the EEAS Joint Communiqué of 14 December 2020 on EU-LAC Informal Ministerial Meeting,

 having regard to its resolution of 17 April 2020 on EU coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences[1],

 having regard to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015, and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),

 having regard to the annual reports from the Council to the European Parliament on the common foreign and security policy,


  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A9-0204/2020),

  having regard to the Communiqué of Eurolat CoPresidents of 14 December 2020 on the  EU-LAC Ministerial Meeting,

  having regard to the Declaration of Eurolat CoPresidents of 5 November 2020 - Impact  of the COVID-19 pandemic,

  having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,


A. whereas COVID-19 has caused a global pandemic which is affecting millions of human lives, giving rise to an unprecedented global health, economic, social and humanitarian crisis;

B. whereas the pandemic disproportionately affects the most vulnerable countries and people; whereas some countries worldwide have not reacted and have not taken swift and adequate security measures to curb the epidemic;

C.  whereas the pandemic is further exacerbating economic, social and political grievances;


D.  whereas the COVID-19 outbreak aggravates chronic medicine shortages worldwide, with acute consequences in developing countries; the pandemic has demonstrated strategic vulnerabilities in the EU and Latin America global supply chains, including for essential medical goods such as personal protective equipment and active pharmaceutical ingredients;


E.  whereas Latin America comprises 8.4 percent of the world population and accumulates more than triple that percentage of global deaths proportionally from coronavirus;

F.  whereas Brazil has currently the world's second-highest COVID-19 death toll, after the United States,  and has the third-largest caseload, after the United States and India, with the pandemic affecting larger countries to a proportionally larger degree; whereas Brazilian unemployment rates rose from 11% to 14.2% in the country from December 2019 to January 2021, with 2.4 million people getting unemployed amid the pandemic and with an estimated 14.3 million unemployed people, the highest number ever registered; furthermore, an alarmingly high number of babies and children are dying of COVID-19 and is estimated that the virus has killed 2,060 children under 9, including 1,302 babies;

G.  whereas the rapid spread of a coronavirus variant, the P.1, which is driving the second 

wave in Brazil has been a major cause for concern globally; whereas the Commission was asked on what specific steps it has taken to combat the spread of the P.1 new coronavirus variant; whereas the delay in regulatory approval and failure to implement a plan to secure inputs for domestic production have slowed the sourcing of the vaccine in Brazil; whereas Brazil’s national health agency has authorized clinical trials of a new COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sichuan Clover Biopharmaceuticals; whereas Brazil dismissed opportunities to purchase millions of vaccine doses and only purchased the minimum amount of 10% through the COVAX Mechanism;  


H.   whereas, despite a slow vaccine  roll-out , namely due to delays in the regulatory approval, Brazil  aims to obtain equal and affordable access to safe, effective and high-quality vaccines, diagnostic tests and treatments to COVID-19; whereas, at the WTO, Brazil is co-sponsoring an initiative that advocates the immediate engagement of the WTO in negotiations to expand the production and distribution of vaccines and medicines that can contribute to overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic;

I.  whereas President Bolsonaro has downgraded the effects and risks of the pandemic and refused the call of experts to implement strict measures to curb the spread of the virus,  and explicitly and repeatedly rejected the confinement measures implemented by the country's governors, whereas Brazil has nevertheless implemented support measures in 2020 amounted to 7.1% of the country’s GDP, including an emergency aid package amounted to 4% of said GDP;

J.  whereas the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Venezuela has been fraught with delays even as a second wave of the pandemic triggers an increase in confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths; whereas Venezuela is particularly vulnerable to the wider effects of the pandemic considering its ongoing socioeconomic and political crisis causing massive shortages of food supplies and basic necessities, including health care and medical supplies; whereas Nicolas Maduro has been spreading COVID-related misinformation, announcing "miracle" medication that supposedly neutralizes the disease;

K.   whereas, since the beginning of the pandemic, Mexico has opted for a strategy that consists of carrying out few tests, as shown by its positivity rate close to 50%, and focusing on expanding hospital capacity instead of stopping infections;

L.  whereas Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has repeatedly downplayed the virus and has consistently flouted the recommendations of the health authorities and held rallies and meetings across the country;

M.   whereas the Nicaraguan government has consistently downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic considering this an issue only for foreign people, and operating based on a policy of secrecy and non-transparency; whereas health care workers lack appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to treat COVID-19 patients; whereas access to testing is rare, and businesses have remained open, and the government holds events with large gatherings;

N.  whereas Latin America began 2020 as the world’s most unequal region and this only worsened under the pandemic, with an additional 22 million people falling into poverty, while the number living in extreme poverty grew by 8 million;


O.  whereas supply disruptions in the region are expected especially considering the difficulty in reaching  more rural and remote areas that, in many cases, have a poor existing transport and public health infrastructure;


P.  whereas the priority now must be to rebuild trust in multilateral institutions being able to deliver global answers, by moving forward on the discussions on the WTO Trade and Health Initiative for COVID-19 and related medical health products;


Q.   whereas the close cooperation between the WTO, the WHO, UN institutions and the World Bank is essential to tackle the crisis in a comprehensive manner, with special attention for the health and economic implications in Latin America;



1.  Reiterates its deep concern over the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on both Europe and Latin America continent, including the countless lives lost and resulting economic difficulties;


2.  Calls on all states and governments to ensure universal and free access to vaccines for their respective general populations as soon as possible, implementing transparent vaccination strategies based on scientific and ethical criteria, giving priority to the protection of the most vulnerable groups;


3.  Regrets that least developed countries (LDCs), low-income and middle-income (LICs and MICs) countries were hit the hardest in numerous sectors by trade disruptions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic; calls the Commission to act as a global player and to  engage with Latin America countries, its local governments, the private sector and scientific and research community to develop COVID-19 vaccine  production capacity there within inclusion of the EU supply chains and COVID-19 related medicine;


4.  Deplores the fact that the Maduro regime stated in March that it would not authorise  the  AstraZeneca vaccine, despite having already reserved between 1.4 and 2.4 million doses and despite it being one of the main inoculations deployed by COVAX in Latin America; deplores the fact that, healthcare professions were excluded from Maduro regime’s vaccination plan while his party leader politicians and supporters and the military regime hierarchy were included; is concerned that there is no accurate tracking and reporting on the disease; regrets that the regime chooses to politicize the pandemic crisis and spread misinformation instead of protecting the population;


5.  Deplores the fact that frontline health workers in Mexico’s private sector are not among the first people to receive the vaccine; and the migrants and indigenous people risk missing out on the vaccine because the system currently requires an identification number not everyone in the country has; furthermore regrets that Mexican state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos ordered management staff to return to work despite hundreds of new COVID deaths per day;


6.  Recalls that President Bolsonaro refused to act swiftly to contain the variant including by rejecting  a nationwide lockdown, stating that a lockdown would further damage Brazil’s already weak economy and would exacerbate social tensions, while criticizing state governors and mayors who imposed a lockdown due to the pandemic;


7.  Calls on the EU and its Member States to cooperate with the Brazilian authorities and deploy the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and other solidarity funding pursuant to the MFF 2021-2027 in order to tackle the pandemic in the country; calls furthermore on the European Commission to make use of the Horizon Europe and other EU programs and funds in order to foster scientific cooperation between Brazil and the EU, namely in the fields of health and innovation;


8.  Applauds the fact that Chile has ordered close to 90 million vaccine doses, enough to fully vaccinate its population of 19.2 million people twice, through acting quickly in negotiations, choosing to participate in the clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines to strengthen their negotiating position, building a highly diverse portfolio of vaccines, composed of different types at different stages of development, in order to hedge risks and setting up numerous vaccination centres around the country to meet the goal of vaccinating 80% of the population by June 2021; whereas Chile can show one of the highest worldwide vaccination record;


9.  Credits Chile’s openness and free trade policies, under the administration of president Sebastián Piñero, for the country’s success in acquiring vaccines and Chile's deep experience with mass immunization programs, its public primary-health care system that works all over the country and its national immunisation registry to ensure a swift roll out;


10.  Commends the Dominican Republic, one of the worst hit by the pandemic registering, 262,935 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,441 confirmed deaths to date, for having started inoculating medical staff against COVID-19 as soon as it launched its vaccination campaign, representing an important contribution to the national vaccination program that aims to vaccinate the country's 7.8 million adults by the end of 2021;


11.  Calls on states and governments to deem COVID-19 to intensify efforts to facilitate equitable, free and universal access and distribution of the vaccines, including offering treatment and medical equipment to the general population;


12.   Deplores the fact that China takes advantage of the COVID situation and the vulnerabilities or Latin American countries and their lack of sufficient vaccines to push its own political agenda in exchange for vaccines; Calls on like-minded partners, especially the US, due to its proximity to the region, to expand its surplus vaccine programme currently available to Mexico and Canada, to the other Latin American countries as well;


13.  Calls for a strengthening of Latin America and Caribbean regional coordination, including the potential setting up of a regional vaccination passport, in order to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic more efficiently, ensure sufficient vaccine supplies, promote equitable access and make rapid progress in ongoing vaccination campaigns;


14.  Recalls that this is a historic moment requiring effective, dynamic and comprehensive transatlantic cooperation to guarantee an efficient vaccination process; that protecting the lives of hundreds of millions of people, will help support three pillars of economic recovery: job creation, productivity and international trade;

15.  Notes the importance of the Team Europe approach also as an essential part of the EU’s external action, underlining the importance of cooperation and coordination with multilateral institutions in response to the COVID-19 crisis, in particular within the UN system and the international financial institutions in order to improve the global health context meanwhile increasing the visibility of the Team Europe commitment;

16.  Commends the EU’s total contribution to the COVAX system of EUR 1 billion in direct grants and guarantees so far, noting that European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the EU Member States have pledged more than EUR 2.2 billion to the COVAX Facility, of which the EU is one of its main contributors in which 31 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, should receive more than 27 million doses of the vaccine;


17.  Notes that the aim of the COVAX initiative is to promote and secure global access to safe, high-quality, effective and affordable vaccines,  points out that for 2021, COVAX has secured vaccines for only 20% of the world’s population and therefore vaccine production and distribution in both Europe and Latin America must therefore be ramped up;


18 .   Calls on the Commission to initiate a Covid-19 Vaccine Strategy for Latin America, taking into account that the EU is one of the most important exporters of vaccines in the world; underlines therefore the importance of increasing vaccine manufacturing worldwide and urges the Commission to  come forward with a concrete action plan to this effect;


19.  Reiterates its conviction that the post-COVID-19 reconstruction of our societies and economies must seize the opportunities that a genuine green transition presents:  new jobs, encouraging circular economic models and facilitating the decarbonisation process of our economies;


20.  Considers the future EU/LAC strategic digital partnerships to be a major step towards a common and coordinated international response to the COVID-19 pandemic; it will generate new opportunities while promoting more effective economic integration and a digital economy that benefits all citizens; strengthening the digital dimension will benefit the health-care sector by improving equipment making medical services more efficient;


21 .   Stresses the importance of resilient and sustainable value chains that respect human rights, labour rights and environmental standards; stresses that more attention should be paid to the vulnerabilities of Small and medium-sized enterprises and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, especially in developing countries/ markets and in their manufacturing capacities to overcome exogenous shocks;

22.  Calls for the a satisfactory result of the modernisation ongoing negotiated EU Agreements with Mexico and Chile, as well as the EU Agreement with Mercosur, and their swift ratification;


23.  Notes that the work of journalists in the region has become more difficult as a result of measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of limited physical access and reduced contact with authorities, particularly regarding their role in the fight against increasingly prevalent disinformation;


24.  Urges the Commission to deliver an action plan to prevent the spread of the so-called and more contagious “Brazilian” variant to Europe and assist Member States and third countries in fighting it; calls that harmonised measures are introduced which apply to people entering the EU from Brazil or neighbouring countries where more contagious variants are present; the measures should apply to both foreign and EU nationals;


25.  Calls for the European Commission and the Member State diplomatic missions to provide information and support to EU citizens living and travelling in affected areas;


26.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation.



Aġġornata l-aħħar: 27 ta' April 2021
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