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EU leaders worried about impact of possible export restrictions on vaccine production – Abroad

Vaccine issues were the main focus of the EU summit, which was cut off one evening.

The production, availability and equitable distribution of coronary vaccines were at the forefront of discussions at the March EU summit. The video-based meeting was held only one evening, even though the meeting could have been resumed on Friday.

Prime minister Sanna Marin (sd) said after the meeting that discussions between EU leaders focused on vaccine issues. On other topics, such as the EU’s relations with Turkey, there was little discussion.

The EU has sought to secure the availability of vaccines by monitoring their exports. The European Commission on Wednesday announced temporary tightening of exports of coronary vaccines outside the Union.

The Commission wants the principles of reciprocity and proportionality to be considered when granting export authorizations for coronary vaccines. In practice, vaccine exports from the EU could be restricted, for example, to countries that produce vaccines themselves and are longer in vaccination than the EU.

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Marin said EU leaders said together that the export licensing process has been necessary for the sake of transparency, but with a stricter line we need to be careful not to delay possible vaccine production with possible restrictions.

“There were concerns about how export restrictions, if implemented incorrectly, could make the situation worse and how, for example, chains related to vaccine production, for example, could be disrupted, causing a significant problem not only for Europe but also for the rest of the world,” Marin said.

Fresh delivery figures on the table

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced fresh vaccine figures early in the meeting. According to them, about 88 million doses of corona vaccine have been delivered to EU countries so far, of which about 62 million have been given to vaccinees.

Since the beginning of December, 77 million doses of coronary vaccines manufactured in the EU have been exported worldwide. The amount is therefore almost the same as what has been delivered to EU countries so far.

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Marin commented on the figures, noting that the EU is a large and significant production area for vaccines.

– But vaccines are also made elsewhere and vaccines are also exported to different countries. This is a global pandemic: a big challenge and problem we all share, Marin said.

The distribution model based on population shares will be adhered to

EU leaders noted that the distribution of vaccines to the EU among member states will continue to be based on a population-based model.

Some Member States have called for corrections to the distribution of vaccines, and in particular the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has made a fuss about it in public.

Vaccine doses ordered by the EU are distributed to Member States according to population share. If some member states have not wanted to redeem their full shares, others have been able to buy the extra vaccines on top of their own shares.

Member States have thus, in practice, been in constant negotiations on the distribution of vaccines. Dissatisfaction with the distribution method stems in part from the fact that some had relied heavily on the coronary vaccine of the pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca in their vaccine strategy and failed to redeem their full shares in vaccines from other manufacturers.

Astra Zeneca has not delivered the expected number of vaccine doses to the EU

Marin says the Austrian output has been specifically about targeting a batch of 10 million doses of vaccine. The practical work on the division of the batch will continue in Brussels among the representatives of the EU countries.

Biden stressed the U.S. commitment to climate action

Towards the end of the evening, the President of the United States popped up for a video conference Joe Biden. President of the European Council Charles Michel commented On Twitterthat the EU and the United States can work together to promote democracy in the world.

Marin describes the conversation with Biden as good but close. During Bide’s short pop, only a couple of speeches were made.

“Mr Biden’s speech was encouraging in that he emphasized very strongly the importance of climate action and the United States’ commitment to combating climate change,” Marin said.

According to Marin, during Biden’s visit, the vaccine situation did not arise at a detailed level or, for example, whether the United States could import vaccines reciprocally into the EU. However, President von der Leyen has discussed the matter with Mr Biden.

– The President of the Commission has a good dialogue with the United States and this debate is being held closely, Marin said.

Russia was mentioned briefly

During the summit, President Michel briefed the Russian President on his telephone conversation Vladimir Putin with. Had the summit been held as a physical meeting in Brussels, EU leaders would have had a longer strategic discussion on Russia, but now it was not possible.

EU leaders will return to the issue at the next physical summit, possibly in June.

According to Marin, Russia also came up briefly during Biden’s meeting during the meeting, when Biden mentioned his concerns to the opposition politician. Aleksei Navalnyin situation.

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