Prime Minister Janez Janša and his European counterparts send a letter calling for solidarity and equal access to COVID-19 vaccines
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša addressed a letter to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council Charles Michel concerning the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Heads of Government point out that the EU agreed to join forces in the fight against COVID-19, knowing that the Member States are stronger together as EU and because "no one in the EU will be safe from the coronavirus before everyone is safe".
The European leaders who signed the letter also believe that it is a matter of European solidarity to ensure that all EU member states, big or small, have equal access to COVID-19 vaccines. Furthermore, they stress that, after the last European Council meeting on 21 January 2021, Charles Michel reaffirmed the agreement reached by the EU Heads of State or Government that vaccines should be distributed to all Member States at the same time and on a pro rata/population basis.
The European leaders highlight that it has been discovered in recent days that deliveries of vaccine doses by pharma companies to individual EU Member States are not being implemented in accordance with the agreement reached at the January European Council, i.e. at the same time and on an equal basis following the pro rata population key.
"If this system were to carry on, it would continue creating and exacerbating huge disparities among Member States by this summer, whereby some would be able to reach herd immunity in a few weeks while others would lag far behind," stress the European leaders in their letter and argue that this would be contrary not only to the agreement, but also to the spirit of European solidarity.
"We all started our vaccination campaigns together at the end of December and the Commission set common EU vaccination targets for the second quarter of 2021. We now must ensure that all Member States are on an equal footing to reach these targets," further underline Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša in their letter, which concludes with a call on Charles Michel to hold a discussion on this matter with the EU Heads of State or Government.
The letter is available in the attachment.