It is now “To avoid a tragedy”, said Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, to set the stake of the mini-summit by videoconference to which he had invited the heads of state and government, Thursday, October 29. He therefore wanted to outline greater cooperation between member countries and get them to fight better together against the spread of the pandemic.
The results of these few hours of discussion can largely be summed up in formulas – “Redouble efforts”, “bring points of view together”, etc. However, some progress has been made. Like the fact that when the vaccines are available – at best in spring 2021, says the Commission – all Member States will have them at the same time and under the same conditions. In any case, this is what Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promises, who insists that the vaccine will not however be “A miracle solution”.
At this stage, contacts “Follow-ups” are established with three pharmaceutical groups to obtain sufficient doses. Of “Relations” exist with three others and a seventh company is ” approached “. To save time, the European Medicines Agency examines the scientific data as and when they are provided to it, without waiting for all the information to come to a decision.
However, it will be necessary to be vigilant about the effectiveness of the vaccines which are under study and their possible side effects, insists Charles Michel. Which advocates, moreover, a joint decision for the designation of the groups of people to be vaccinated as a priority. However, he admits that, on this point, it will still be necessary “Try to converge”.
The national experts may be able to help define a common response: it will have taken ten months to get there, but they should finally come together and then communicate with other specialists, those who advise the European institutions. All will have to “Share their good practices and avoid messages that sow confusion”, urges Ursula von der Leyen.
On Tuesday, she had made other announcements and made various proposals to the Council. The Commission she heads has mobilized 100 million euros to acquire antigenic tests and provide them to member countries. Faster but less efficient than PCR tests, they will help relieve laboratory congestion. It remains to have them approved by all countries and to obtain mutual recognition of their results.
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