The EPP Group wants to turn all its efforts towards scaling up the production of Coronavirus vaccines in Europe. This is why it has put forward a €10 billion worth proposal to increase the production as part of its 10-step plan to boost Europe’s vaccination programme. "The only acceptable strategy now is ‘whatever it takes’. Nothing we can do is more costly than the human and economic cost of this pandemic. We must act faster and think bigger", said Manfred Weber MEP, the EPP Group Chairman, and Esther de Lange MEP, EPP Group Vice-Chairwoman in charge of Economy and Environment.
"We urgently need a vaccination investment offensive to scale up the vaccine supply and rollout in Europe. All production sites, where this is possible and reasonable, must switch to manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines", stressed Weber and de Lange.
"We regret that Member States are not coordinating their efforts to the degree that we would like. How can it still be that even though the Netherlands has closed its airspace for incoming flights from South America, people from South America can still fly to the Netherlands, be it via Madrid or another European capital? This is absurd. We need more coordination, clearer and more stringent rules about quarantine and a united approach towards incoming flights from third countries", said de Lange.
Weber and de Lange also warned that Europe should stop being naïve about the export restrictions we are seeing in the US or the UK. "As we speak, Johnson & Johnson are producing vaccines in Europe which will be shipped to the US for fill and finish. Considering the export ban in the US, we need guarantees from the US administration that the vaccines will be able to leave the US for Europe when they are ready. We need to prevent a vaccine war by any means, but we cannot ignore the reality around us. This is why we urgently need to reach out to the new US administration and we call for a G7 meeting on the fight against COVID", Weber and de Lange concluded.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States