Sunday

25th Jul 2021

Agenda

Vaccines in focus in the EU This WEEK

  • EU citizens started receiving vaccines at the very end of last year, in a process that will last many months (Photo: European Commission)

Vaccines remain the number one topic for the continent in the new year after nine months of Covid-19 deaths, lockdowns, and economic hardship.

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen last Friday (8 January) said that the EU executive had secured a further 300 million doses from the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

But the commission refused to answer questions on whether Germany secured an extra 30m doses outside of the EU contracts, which could have been a breach in the EU-27 agreement to negotiate collectively.

On Tuesday (12 January), the European Parliament's environment committee will hear from the person who negotiated the contracts, commission director-general of health and food safety, Sandra Gallina.

MEPs are expected to discuss the EU's procedure to approve the vaccines, what stage of the review process various vaccines have reached, as well as the quantities bought by the EU.

On Wednesday, the centre-right EPP group hosts an online event on the European health union, with the participation of CEOs of Pfizer, BioNTech, CureVac and the chief medical officer of Moderna, according to their press statement.

Commission vice-president Margaritis Schinas, research commissioner Mariya Gabriel, and health commissioner Stella Kyriakides will also take part.

The parliament will also start the steps to approve the EU-UK deal on the future cooperation reached on Christmas Eve last year.

A debate in the trade committee on Monday (11 January) will kick off the process, and continues on Thursday with a meeting held jointly with the foreign affairs committee.

MEPs will discuss the text and later decide to recommend it (or not) for approval by the plenary.

MEPs on the committee on foreign interference will on Monday discuss the first series of working documents prepared by Latvian MEP Sandra Kalniete on disinformation, the role of the social media platforms, cybersecurity and the financing of political actors.

Parliament president David Sassoli will meet Kosovo's acting president and speaker of parliament Vjosa Osmani, on Tuesday.

Osmani last Wednesday dissolved the parliament and called for early parliamentary elections on 14 February, after the Kosovo Constitutional Court issuing a verdict ruling the election of Avdullah Hoti's government last June illegal.

On Friday , von der Leyen plus commission members will travel to Lisbon to mark the start of Portugal's EU presidency.

EU agency authorises Moderna vaccine amid blame-game

The European Medicines Agency has authorised the use of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by US company Moderna - while the EU is involved in a blame-game over a sluggish vaccine rollout across member states.

EU leaders to discuss vaccine roll-out this month

EU leaders regularly held video-conferences to coordinate the pandemic reaction last year, but countries and EU institutions recently began a blame-game over the sluggish roll-out of vaccines.

Opinion

Together Europe can beat pandemics, Alzheimer's, cancer

Let's expand the EU with a Health Union where cutting edge research and world-class applications go hand in hand. For this, it is worth being European, believing in Europe, working on Europe, writes European People's Party leader Manfred Weber MEP.

News in Brief

  1. Macron changes phone after Pegasus spyware revelations
  2. Italy to impose 'vaccinated-only' entry on indoor entertainment
  3. EU 'will not renegotiate' Irish protocol
  4. Brussels migrants end hunger strike
  5. Elderly EU nationals in UK-status limbo after missed deadline
  6. WHO: 11bn doses needed to reach global vaccination target
  7. EU to share 200m Covid vaccine doses by end of 2021
  8. Spain ends outdoor mask-wearing despite surge

Romania most keen to join eurozone

The survey was carried out in seven member states that have not yet adopted the single currency: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden. Denmark has decided not to join, having negotiated an opt-out.

Column

The Polish government wants EU money - but not EU law

The concern of Germany's Constitutional Court was that the European Court of Justice did not sufficiently check the action of other EU branches of power. The Polish situation is the exact reverse: the government is taking control of the courts.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. Far left and right MEPs less critical of China and Russia
  2. Why is offshore wind the 'Cinderella' of EU climate policy?
  3. Open letter from 30 embassies ahead of Budapest Pride
  4. Orbán counters EU by calling referendum on anti-LGBTI law
  5. Why aren't EU's CSDP missions working?
  6. Romania most keen to join eurozone
  7. Slovenia risks court over EU anti-graft office
  8. Sweden's gang and gun violence sets politicians bickering

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us