European Union: defense, vaccines against Covid-19, Afghanistan … What to remember from Ursula Von der Leyen's speech

the essential The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday announced a series of measures concerning the EU.

European Defense Summit in 2022

A defense summit will be organized by the French presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2022, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday, while the Withdrawal from Afghanistan has revived the reflection on the autonomy of Europeans.

“The time has come for Europe to move up a gear” to “defend itself against cyber attacks, act where NATO and the UN are not present and manage crises in time,” he said. she explained in a speech on the State of the Union to MEPs in Strasbourg.

The creation of a European rapid reaction force of 5 000 has been under discussion for several months and the American withdrawal from Afghanistan has relaunched the debate by highlighting the military deficiencies of the old continent.

The project is not unanimous, however recognized the head of diplomacy Josep Borrell after a meeting of EU defense ministers in Slovenia in early September.

200 millions of doses of Covid vaccines – 19 to poor countries

The EU will give 200 million additional doses of Covid vaccine – 19 to poor countries by mid – 2022, in addition to the 250 millions of doses already promised , announced Wednesday the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

“It is an investment in solidarity and it is also an investment in global health”, declared, before the European Parliament, Mrs von der Leyen, stressing that, if in the European Union more than 70% of adults are vaccinated, “less than 1% of vaccine doses were administered in poor countries”.

These donations are made mainly through the Covax international distribution mechanism, which is supposed to allow 70 underprivileged states and territories to receive free vaccines funded by more nations. prosperous. But the founders of this mechanism, including the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and the WHO, regularly denounce the glaring inequality in access to vaccination between the populations of poor countries and rich countries, who are beginning to administer a third booster dose.

Covax has so far only been able to distribute 243 million doses in 139 disadvantaged countries , the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) indicated on September 8.

“The extent of the injustice and the level of urgency are obvious”, acknowledged the head of the European executive in her annual Speech on the State of the Union.

The EU is also supporting vaccine production in Africa to the tune of one billion euros.

A law to fight against violence against women

The European Commission will propose by the end of the year a law to fight against violence against women, also announced Ursula von der Leyen, estimating that “too many women must have lived in fear during this pandemic” .

“It is about effective criminal prosecution, prevention and protection measures”, both online and in real life, said in front of the European Parliament, the head of the European executive, which has the initiative in the EU.

100 million euros to help Afghanistan

The EU will provide 100 additional million euros in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to avert a “humanitarian disaster”, the President announced on Wednesday of the Commission.

The Union had already announced the quadrupling of its humanitarian aid to bring it to 200 millions in 2021.

Budgetary rigor

The EU “will not repeat the mistake” made after the last financial crisis when a hasty return to fiscal austerity caused the continent to relapse into recession, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged on Wednesday. “The lessons of the financial crisis could serve as a warning. At the time, we declared victory too soon and paid the price. We will not repeat this mistake,” said Ursula von der Leyen, confirming the soon opening of a debate on the reform of European budgetary rules.

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