Vaccine “nationalism” remains at risk, EU head says


European Commission President Ursula von der Lein addressed the Union speech in her maiden speech.

Brussels:

The chairman of the European Commission on Wednesday urged members of the European Union to form a strong health association, promising a biomedical research agency and a global summit.

In his first annual speech to the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen said that the coronovirus epidemic had underscored the need for closer cooperation, insisting that people were “still suffering”.

“To me, it’s clear crystal – we need to build a strong European Health Association,” she said. “And we need to strengthen our crisis preparedness and the management of cross-border health hazards.”

Addressing the MEPs in the European Parliament, von der Leyen said that his commission would seek to strengthen the European Medical Agency and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

And it announced the creation of a new agency for biomedical advanced research and development, dubbed BARDA.

She said she would work with Italy under the chairmanship of the G20 – a group of the world’s richest countries – to hold a global health summit next year to share the lesson of the coronovirus crisis.

“This European will show that our union is there to protect everyone,” she said.

Health policy remains the responsibility of member states of the European Union, while Brussels has tried to coordinate more widely in response to the epidemic, national lockdown and border regulations.

For training, Doctor von der Leyen also warned countries not to act selfishly on vaccines, which are widely seen as a solution to end the crisis.

“Vaccine nationalism is at risk. Vaccine cooperation protects them,” she said.

He called for a reform and strengthening of the World Health Organization so that we can prepare better for future epidemics.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)

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