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EU և COVID-19. When the vaccine only adds to the difficulties

BRUSSELS (AP) – EU leaders no longer meet at the common oval summit table to mediate their well-known compromises. Instead, each of the 27 looks at the heads of other states or governments with suspicion on a video screen showing a mosaic of distant capitals.

This was developed by COVID-19.

Lofti hopes that the crisis will encourage the new, stronger alliance to face a common challenge, given the reality of division. The epidemic has pushed the member state against a member nation, and many capitals against the EU, symbolizing the split, the virtual meetings that leaders are now holding.

Leaders are fighting for everything from viral passports to tourism to epidemic assistance. Perhaps worse, some are attacking the very structures that the EU has built to fight the epidemic. Last month, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz condemned the bloc’s purchase of vaccines as a “market”, arguing that poorer countries were on the rise while the rich were booming.

“The European Policy Center անքը Respect for European values ​​continues to be challenged in various parts of the Union,” says the European Policy Center, a year after the epidemic spread from China to Europe.

Demands for political accountability have been raised in some places.

In the Czech Republic on Wednesday, Prime Minister Andrei Babis fired his health minister, the third to be fired in one of Europe’s worst-hit countries during the epidemic. Last week, the Slovak government resigned over a secret deal to buy Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, and Italy’s prime minister, Uzpepe Conte, was forced to resign over the economic downturn.

In general, the political turmoil in the EU is muted, given that the epidemic has killed half a million people. At EU level, there has been no serious appeal to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the bloc’s chief executive, despite admitting to making serious mistakes.

It is clear that the EU has not yet risen to the occasion, it is unclear whether it can. The Center for European Policy notes that “the health crisis does not see an immediate end, let alone the inevitable structural economic challenges.”

Of course, the EU և its countries fell victim to some events that were beyond their power, as other countries in the world did. Good arguments can be made that part of the alliance’s problems are due to delays in deliveries from the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. But part of the crisis manifested itself.

The typical complaint is that there is no single EU healthcare structure to fight the epidemic, that health is still largely a national domain. But for years the alliance had a common drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency. And since last summer, the EU has decided to pool purchases of vaccines, “distributing them fairly across large and small, richer and poorer 27 countries.”

But as some non-EU countries accelerated their use of emergency permits, the EMA moved more slowly, at least in part, as it followed a process that was largely similar to the standard licensing procedure that would be provided with any new vaccine. The agency’s first vaccine green light came in the UK three weeks after it was once well. The first country to allow a rigorously tested COVID-19 shot.

The alliance never reached. On Friday, for example, the UK gave at least one dose to 46.85% of its citizens, compared to 14.18% in the EU.

The EU also made the mistake of insuring vaccines, over-equalizing gunshots, underestimating the difficulties of mass production and distribution of such delicate products. While EU negotiators were focusing on the provisions of the treaty, other countries were thinking about logistics և demanding speed և volume.

And while countries like the United States were closing their borders to vaccine exports, the EU took the moral high ground and continued to export, with almost as many doses leaving the bloc in the first quarter of the year as delivered to the controversial EU member states.

With the wrong moves on vaccine distribution, the EU will slowly send in a € 750 billion ($ 890 billion) bailout package that will split debts and provide unprecedented grants to poorer members. But the fight over some points և complicated rules among the leaders has made it something other than a quick process. Worst of all, the German Constitutional Court can still torpedo or further delay the whole initiative.

The nature of inflation can be different from the past, but there are familiar obstacles. Heavy bureaucracy, unnecessary delays, as legal և technical disputes overshadowed the bigger picture, և disputing politicians preferred their own interests to the common good.

Last week was the subject of an incident. The EMA reiterated its advice to all member states to stand together. Continue to use AstraZeneca clasps for all adults this time around, despite the extremely rare possibility of blood clots.

Instead, hours after the announcement, Belgium opposed the proposal, banning AstraZeneca for citizens 55 55 less, while others issued or maintained similar restrictions.

“If the government does not trust science, trust in vaccines is gone. “If we do not rely on the EMA, any approach to the EU is doomed,” said Guy Verhofstadt, a leading EU parliamentarian who is usually the strongest supporter of the EU.

It is noteworthy that EU countries insisted on postponing their vaccination discs in December, especially because they wanted to wait for the decision of the EMA. But in the months since then, many have repeatedly ignored the EMA advice, imposing more restrictions on vaccine use than the agency has demanded.

In many countries, this extreme volatility, in addition to frequent advice, has become a misnomer for vaccine use. This exacerbated the supply and trust issues faced by the bloc.

Last month’s video summit, when the EU agreed on barely half the contractual doses for the first quarter, saw last month’s video summit as EU countries arguing over a shooting-distribution system that few considered unfair.

Now there are expectations that the EU can turn it around. It is hoped that 360 million shots are expected this quarter, which will keep alive the promise of vaccinating 70% of adults in the 450 million-strong population by the end of the summer.

In France, President Emanuel Macron gave millions of people hope when he said that a return to normal life could come in mid-May, when people could “restore our art, embodied in the restaurants and cafes we love so much.”

At that time, EU leaders could even personally intervene at night summits.

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