BRUSSELS, June 26 (BIPMedia)
With 424 million doses of vaccine delivered, nearly 60 percent of adults in the EU will have received a first dose against COVID-19, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Friday at the end of the June 24-25 European summit in Brussels.
This good progress of vaccination in the EU member states shows that « our targets for the second quarter have been met and even exceeded, » Leyen added.
Concerned about the « Delta » variant, which dominates 90 percent of infections in the United Kingdom, and which is spreading very rapidly in other states, European leaders stressed the need for dual vaccination, which offers effective protection against this variant. The mask, the social distancing must however remain in force, in front of the variants.
To help member states whose economies have been crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU has mobilized nearly €3000 billion.
Out of 24 national economic recovery plans presented, the European Commission has already approved 20, which present reforms in the field of investment, digital, youth employment, childcare, higher education, health care as examples.
The EU welcomed Thursday the de-escalation in the eastern Mediterranean, between Turkey and Greece. As a reminder, Turkey had begun last September, drilling near the eastern part of the Greek islands.
Following this de-escalation, European leaders said they were ready to maintain a dialogue with Turkey in a progressive, proportionate and reversible manner, with the aim of strengthening cooperation in a number of areas of common interest, subject to the conditions established in March 2021.
The EU announced that it plans to allocate an additional 3 billion euros to help the 2 million Syrian refugees hosted in Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon, and other parts of the region, in accordance with the March 2021 European Council members’ declaration and as part of the EU’s overall migration policy.
The European Council condemned on Thursday the restrictions on fundamental freedoms in Russia and the shrinking of the space for civil society. The Council calls on Russia to fully assume its responsibility for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, which is an essential condition for any substantial change in the EU’s position.
The European Council reaffirmed the EU’s support for the efforts of the G5 Sahel countries to strengthen governance, the rule of law and the provision of public services on their territory.
On Thursday, the European Council condemned the continuing atrocities, ethnic and sexual violence and other human rights violations in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. The European Council called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, unhindered humanitarian access to all areas, and the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces.
The EU and its member states reaffirmed on Thursday their commitment to support Ethiopia in the implementation of democratic reforms and reconciliation efforts.