Vaccines against Covid-19 must be distributed in a way that helps all EU member states, so that we can get out of the pandemic at the same time, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said after taking part in a video conference of EU leaders, a government media statement said.
Borissov said that this was the understanding that European leaders had agreed on.
“Today’s key word is solidarity. All member states have understood how important it is for each of us to know that we will receive proportionally as many vaccines as are needed,” Borissov said.
He expressed his full support to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for the extremely firm position on compliance with the contracts by the manufacturers whose vaccines were selected by the EC and approved by the European Medicines Agency.
Regarding the digital travel certificate, Borissov said that a number of open issues had been discussed and he emphasised that free movement was a fundamental principle in the EU.
He said that the certificate should be at the service of European citizens and their ease of movement.
A statement after the March 25 European Council meeting said that EU leaders had committed to accelerating the production, delivery and deployment of vaccines.
They underlined the importance of transparency and the use of export authorisations.
They recognised the importance of global value chains and reaffirmed that companies must respect contractual delivery deadlines. They also confirmed the pro-rata population key for the allocation of vaccines, the statement said.
“We invite the Committee of Permanent Representatives to address the issue of the speed of deliveries of vaccines when allocating the 10 million BioNTech-Pfizer accelerated doses in the second quarter of 2021 in a spirit of solidarity.”
As the epidemiological situation remains serious, and in the light of the challenges posed by new variants, EU leaders agreed that restrictions, including non-essential travel, must stay in place for the time being.
They also emphasised that the unhindered flow of goods and services within the single market must continue, including by making use of green lanes.
Looking ahead, EU leaders agreed that preparations should nevertheless start on a common approach to the gradual lifting of restrictions, to ensure that efforts are co-ordinated when the epidemiological situation allows for an easing of current measures.
They called for legislative and technical work on Covid-19 interoperable digital certificates, based on the European Commission proposal, to be taken forward as a matter of urgency.
EU leaders also discussed the contribution of the EU to the global response to the pandemic.
They agreed that the work on setting up a vaccine-sharing mechanism must be taken forward rapidly so as to complement and support COVAX’s leading role in ensuring universal access to, and deployment of, vaccines, the statement said.
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