BRUSSELS. With one billion doses “made in the EU” exported to the world in the last ten months, Europe has kept its promise as a global pharmacy against Covid. A milestone celebrated by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who now looks to Prime Minister Mario Draghi and the Italian presidency of the G20, to inflict the decisive blow to the pandemic.
The appointment to strengthen the strategy is the summit of the heads of state and government of the G20, on 30 and 31 October, in Rome, where the Union will make its commitment to donate 500 million additional doses to the most vulnerable states. “But other countries must also take a step forward”, is the warning from von der Leyen, who said she was “working closely” with Draghi and the US president, Joe Biden, to rally the leaders of the G20 behind ” the ambitious goal of defeating the virus in every corner of the planet.
The provision of vaccines
One in two vaccines produced in over 60 factories on the old continent have been transferred to more than 150 countries: from Japan to Turkey, from the United Kingdom to New Zealand, from South Africa to Brazil. And some 87 million doses have already gone to low- and middle-income countries through the Covax mechanism. Biden’s US recently pledged to donate 500 million additional doses of Pfizer serum to the poorest countries, increasing the total commitment to over a billion. But Covax estimates that the two billion dose target for 2021 won’t be anywhere near met. Above all, the shots from the Indian Serum Institute are missing, which with the spread of infections in the country had to produce for home use. And the case of the United Kingdom stands out above all. In June, the G7 countries had pledged to donate one billion total doses to the solidarity mechanism. London had offered 100 million. To date, however, British deliveries have stopped at 5.1 million, while total exports have barely exceeded 10 million. And perhaps it is no coincidence that von der Leyen wanted to highlight once again how the Union has managed to reach 75% of vaccinated adults while remaining “open to the rest of the world” even in the most critical moments. Perhaps yet another lunge for those who, like London – now struggling with a new resurgence of infections – have closed the gates of exports in the name of “UK first”.
“The fate of Poland is in Europe”
In her speech to the European Parliament, the President of the European Commission also spoke natirally about the rule of law in Poland: “It is the first time that a state has questioned the European treaties”, she began by framing the issue. «By joining the European Union – he later underlined – the Poles put their trust in this project, thinking and expecting that it would rightly defend their rights. The Commission is the guardian of the treaty and it is therefore my duty to protect the rights of EU citizens, wherever they live on the territory of the Union ”. On the recent ruling of the Polish Constitutional Court “I am deeply concerned – continued von der Leyen – because it calls into question the basis of the EU and constitutes a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal systems”. «We will not allow – he concluded – that EU values are put at risk; the European Commission will act. The options are well known: infringement procedures, the cross compliance mechanism and other financial instruments. And article 7, a powerful tool to which we must return ».