EM Germany Newsletter CW 6/2021 | European ways out of the pandemic
Especially in times of crisis, trust in the political decision-making process is of highest importance. Unfulfilled expectations and misunderstandings, mutual allegations and a lack of transparency can make this trust crumble, particularly if it concerns such highly sensitive topics such as the Covid-19 vaccine.
Admittedly, the vaccine rollout did not run as smoothly as hoped for. However, this does not point towards an overall failure: within the first year of the pandemic three vaccines have been approved in the EU – one of which was developed in Germany with the help of European research funds – and the EU has successfully secured 1.16 billion doses from all three manufacturers combined. In contrast, 27 independent national vaccine procurement schemes would have ended up being a disaster. Smaller EU member states would have gone under and showing a lack of solidarity once again would have pulled the plug on the European unification project.
The European approach was undoubtedly the right one and numerous German unions and associations agree on that, as the results of our member survey from this week show. Nevertheless, both the European Commission as well as the member states have to be open to criticism over the rollout. The EU could have invested more than the approx. 2.7 billion euros in the vaccines and worked towards faster agreements in order to increase production capacities earlier and more comprehensively. Similarly, the EU and the manufacturers could have prevented misunderstandings by consistently disclosing all contracts as well as effective monitoring of the negotiation process by the European Parliament. Finally, the EU has to take back control of the exports and demonstrate global solidarity: a worldwide pandemic can only be defeated through an equal distribution of vaccinations.
Admitting these mistakes, putting achievements in the right perspective, and joining forces for a European solution is the only way to conquer the pandemic.
I wish you a good week, and stay healthy!
Dr. Linn Selle
European Movement Germany
#EBDFokus: European ways out of the pandemic
The EU Strategy for COVID-19 vaccines aims at “increasing the likelihood that all who need vaccines will have equitable and affordable access to the supplies of these vaccines in the shortest possible time frame”. This is how the Commission communication put it back in June. Last year, the EU institutions decided to jointly purchase COVID-19 vaccines. Contracts have been concluded with six pharmaceutical companies. Three vaccines have been approved by the EMA so far. +++ MEP called for more unity and clarity in the purchase of vaccines. As of today, the EU published the contracts concluded with AstraZeneca and with CureVac. +++ The European Commission put in place an authorisation mechanism for exports of COVID-19 vaccines requiring companies to notify the Member State authorities about the intention to export vaccines produced in the European Union. The World Health Organisation WHO criticized the decision. Plans to intoduce a temporary hard border with the UK on the Irish isle were put aside after they met heavy opposition. +++ On February 3, COVAX published its interim global distribution forecast. +++ At its videoconference in January, the European Council agreed to introduce a standardised and inter-operable form of proof of vaccination for medical purposes. Denmark and Sweden announced to go ahead as soon as possible in order to let people who received the COVID-19 vaccine travel again. +++ With the Austrian Stopp-Corona-App, there are now twelve Corona apps to share anonymised data across European borders. +++ “Managing the pandemic: Can Europe overcome crises?“ is topical at today’s political talk show “Hart aber fair” with EM Germany president Dr. Linn Selle. +++ All news and statements of EM Germany’s network on fighting COVID-19 are put together on our website.
#EBDGrafik of the week
EM Germany News
EM Germany President with „Hart aber fair“: Fancy a German political talk show? Then watch Linn Selle discussing the EU’s COVID-19 vaccination management live today at 8 p.m. Have a look at the format online or on Twitter and Facebook.
One generation „Women of Europe – Germany awards“ – two awardees for the jubilee: Lisi Maier (President of the German Federal Youth Council) and Prof. Dr. Ingeborg Tömmel (founder of the first full-time European Studies university programme in Germany) will be this year’s „Women of Europe“. | More (in German)
Digital career fair at the Federal Foreign Office: EM Germany’s Student EU Careers Ambassadors gave peer-to-peer information about working for the EU. | More (in German)
New image film for the European Pupils‘ Compitition: Our new image film boasts kids and teens and theirs puplis, all of who took part in the competition. | More (in German)
Now hiring: Communications and Organisation advisor. EM Germany is offering a full-time permanent position as of 1st May. Please hand in your application before 21st February. | More (in German)
All EM Germany events take place via videoconference. Participation is free, but registration required. Conference language is German unless indicated otherwise. +++ 11.02.2021: EP rapporteur dialogue with Daniel Freund +++ 18.02.2021: EBD De-Briefing ECOFIN and Eurogroup +++ 22.02.2021: Meeting of the regional European Movements in Germany +++ 26.02.2021: EM Germany Board Meeting +++ 01.03.2021: EBD De-Briefing COMPET +++ Our Presidency Calendar on the Portuguese EU Council Presidency has all EU events of the semester.
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