Coronavirus: a timeline of EU action in 2021 

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Check out our timeline to find out how the EU is tackling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in 2021.

Discover what action the EU is taking in 2021 for the roll-out of vaccines and treatment, to boost the economy, employment, society, travel and transport and to help its partners worldwide to fight Covid-19.

You can also check out our 2020 coronavirus timeline.

Covid-19 timeline 2021 
description: Follow the events of 2021  

Reinforcing the European Medicines Agency's mandate

title short description: Parliament adopts its position for negotiations with the Council on extending the mandate of the European Medicines Agency and strengthening its role. MEPs call for the creation of an EU database for monitoring and preventing medicines shortages and better coordinated, designed and transparent clinical trials.

Court orders AstraZeneca to urgently deliver 50 million doses of vaccine

title short description: AstraZeneca has to deliver 50 million doses of vaccine to the EU by 27 September 2021. If it does not respect the court’s decision, AstraZeneca will have to pay €10 for each undelivered dose.

MEPs discuss EU Digital Covid Certificate

title short description: In a debate ahead of the vote on the EU Digital Covid Certificate, MEPs urge EU countries to implement it by 1 July. While the certificate is widely seen as a tool to restore freedom of movement, MEPs underline the importance of its compliance with people's rights.

EU wants a strong multilateral trade response to the pandemic

title short description: With the goal of expanding production of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments and ensuring its universal and fair access, the EU submits a proposal seeking the commitment of World Trade Organization (WTO) members for a multilateral trade action plan.

EU Digital Covid Certificate: Parliament and Council reach deal

title short description: Parliament and the Council reach a provisional deal for an EU Digital Covid Certificate, which should facilitate free movement in Europe during the pandemic by attesting that someone has been vaccinated, received negative test or recovered from the coronavirus. Parliament should confirm the deal during a plenary session in June and it will then enter into force on 1 July.

MEPs discuss waiver of patents for vaccines and medical products against Covid-19

title short description: MEP discussed a proposal to waiver intellectual property rights for vaccines and medical products against Covid-19. While some think it could improve global access to affordable vaccines and medical products, others believe it cannot bring quick results.

Parliament ready for negotiations on EU Covid-19 certificate

title short description: Parliament wants to reach an agreement with the Council on a certificate for easier safe travelling during the pandemic before the summer. MEPs want no additional restrictions for certificate holders and called for access to “universal, accessible, timely and free of charge testing”.

EU supports vaccination campaigns in Africa with €100 million

title short description: The EU initiative to support a fast and safe rollout of Covid-19 vaccines for Africa is worth €100 million. Funds will be invested in activities such as capacity building, logistic and the rollout of vaccines in conflict and difficult reachable areas. It will be implemented in cooperation with Africa Centres for Disease control and Prevention and other international partners.

MEPs question experts on Covid-19 variants

title short description: Parliament’s public health committee discussed coronavirus mutations and the efficacy of existing vaccines with experts from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine authorised

title short description: A Covid-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson is granted conditional market authorisation in the EU. It is the fourth vaccine authorised, following a positive scientific recommendation by the European Medicines Agency.

Recovery and Resilience Facility adopted

title short description: Parliament adopts the €672.5 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility, the flagship programme in the Covid-19 recovery plan, to support EU countries in mitigating the economic and social consequences of the pandemic and prepare EU economies for a sustainable, digital future.

Relief measures for aviation

title short description: Parliament adopts an agreement with member states allowing airlines to use at least 50% of their planned take-off and landing slots for the 2021 summer and winter seasons, instead of the 80% required before the pandemic. The "use it or lose it" rule had already been temporarily suspended in March 2020 to avoid airlines operating empty flights.

Transparency about vaccine supplies

title short description: Parliament’s public health committee asks for transparent data on the number of vaccine doses supplied a for each country as well as the vaccination schedule on a monthly basis, to avoid disinformation.

AstraZeneca vaccine authorised

title short description: A Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca is granted a conditional marketing authorisation. It is the third vaccine authorised, following a positive scientific recommendation by the European Medicines Agency.

Up to 300 million additional doses of BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine

title short description: EU member states can purchase an additional 200 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by BioNTech and Pfizer, with the option to acquire another 100 million doses.