Brussels, 14 September 2021 – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave the State of the Union speech at the European Parliament Plenary. This is her second SOTEU speech in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
In response, Emily Wigens EU Director at The ONE Campaign, said:
“Today President von der Leyen’s pledge to donate an additional 200 million doses by the middle of next year is welcome, but out of the estimated 1.8 billion excess doses the EU has reserved, it’s a drop in the ocean. Incremental efforts to end this pandemic are not enough. We are facing an increasingly man-made crisis where vaccine inequality is costing lives everywhere and hitting economies hard, especially in low-income countries.
President Biden will be hosting a vaccine summit next week. EU leaders must show up and commit to doing their part to vaccinate 70% of the world by September 2022 to stop this becoming a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. That will mean freeing up more doses for low-income countries and accelerating their delivery, as well as leveraging the EU budget to finance the global response adequately for once and for all.
EU efforts to end the pandemic at home will be undermined by a failure to get vaccines everywhere needed. To limit the spread of the virus and emergency of variants no stone should be left unturned, including supporting a TRIPS waiver.”