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In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, 'nobody is safe until everybody is safe'. On this basis, the EU, along with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other public and private partners, set up a global initiative to facilitate the development, production and global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. COVAX was initially designed to pool funds and vaccine doses in order to ensure an equitable distribution between all participating economies until all of them – higher- and lower-income alike – reached ...

The authorisation of the first Covid-19 vaccines by the European Commission in December 2020 dovetailed with EU Member States' efforts to roll out mass vaccination campaigns to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Amid rising numbers of Covid-19 cases and fears surrounding what might be the impact of the Omicron variant, those efforts were renewed at the end of 2021, including the roll-out of booster doses and vaccines for children. However, despite progress in some Member States, as of March 2022 ...

Just before summer 2021, the EU adopted in record time (see timeline below) two regulations on the EU Digital Covid Certificate. The certificate with a QR code shows if a person has been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from Covid-19. It is free of charge, available on paper or on a smartphone, and valid in all EU Member States. In total, 43 countries in the world are connected to the EU Digital Covid Certificate system. Its aim is to facilitate safe cross-border movement during the Covid ...

At its meeting on 24-25 June 2021, the European Council will pursue its coordination efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic, discuss the situation on the various migration routes, return to the strategic debate on relations with Russia, revert to their discussions on Turkey and assess progress in the EU’s economic recovery. In the Euro summit, EU leaders will discuss the economic challenges for the euro area in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis and review progress on the banking union ...

The 47th G7 summit is scheduled for 11-13 June 2021, and will be chaired and hosted by the United Kingdom. After a year-long break caused by the pandemic and the former US administration's inability to organise the 2020 summit at a later date than initially scheduled, this year's event is expected to mark a return to strong global cooperation among the world's major democracies. The leaders of four guest states – Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea – will join the leaders of the G7 nations ...

EU Digital Covid Certificate

Oversigt 02-06-2021

On 17 March 2021, the European Commission issued a proposal for a regulation on a 'digital green certificate' to facilitate the free movement of EU citizens during the pandemic, and an accompanying proposal covering third-country nationals legally staying or residing in the EU. The certificate includes proof of vaccination, recent Covid 19 test results, and/or information on the acquisition of antibodies. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the text agreed in interinstitutional negotiations ...

Following the forced landing of a Ryanair flight by Belarusian authorities on 23 May, Belarus became the central topic on the first day of the special European Council meeting of 24-25 May 2021. EU leaders strongly condemned the 'unprecedented and unacceptable incident', and were united in imposing further sanctions on Belarus. As regards Russia, the European Council reconfirmed the five principles guiding the EU's policy since 2016 and asked the High Representative and the European Commission to ...

A year and a quarter after the Covid-19 pandemic first broke out, the disease continues to wreak havoc in many countries around the world. The process of vaccination continues at varying speeds across the globe, but with a clear discrepancy between rich and poor countries. Significant pressure is being applied by NGOs, international institutions and a number of national governments to help poor countries with vaccinations, notably because of actual or potential dangerous mutations of the coronavirus ...

Plenary round-up – May 2021

Oversigt 21-05-2021

A number of important debates were held during the May 2021 plenary session, in particular on Parliament's rights to information regarding the ongoing assessment of the national recovery and resilience plans, on a revised industrial strategy for Europe and on recent migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. Members also held a debate on possible waiving of the WTO TRIPS agreement on Covid 19 vaccines to help developing countries fight the pandemic; on business taxation; and on Roma equality in the EU. ...

The coronavirus pandemic has accentuated the call for global solidarity and increased the need for health care and social support in the Western Balkans. The EU's response has included the 'Team Europe' facility, but also specific initiatives for the Western Balkans. In addition to the EU co-funded Covax facility, the most recent proposal by the European Commission and Austria, announced in April 2021, confirmed the delivery of some 651 000 vaccines to the region, where the EU is competing with other ...