The most effective response to the resurgence of COVID-19 is vaccination, say MEPs, addressing the main topic on the agenda of the European Council.
In a plenary debate with Commission President von der Leyen and the Slovenian Presidency, they insisted that vaccination remains the strongest and most promising weapon available against the pandemic. Additional efforts are needed to overcome vaccine hesitancy and increase the number of vaccinated people in Europe and the world, they stress.
A majority of MEPs expressed the need to counter the rise of disinformation across Europe, through increased transparency and science-based communication. Even if many members recognised the EU as a champion of global solidarity, others noted that current efforts in delivering vaccines to the rest of the world are not sufficient and that human rights need to be a vital consideration in dealing with the pandemic.
On Russian threats
Ahead of the European Council taking place tomorrow, many speakers also urged the Heads of State or Government to take a strong stance towards Russia and its threats on Ukraine’s sovereignty, as well as towards the attempts by the Belarusian regime to destabilise the EU and its member states via hybrid attacks.
Migration and energy prices
The need to reach an agreement to reform the EU’s migration policy was also raised, as was the issue of increasing energy prices. While some criticised the idea that gas and nuclear energy are green, others noted that those energy sources can play a role in the transition to a cleaner economy.