Highlighting that European Union (EU) is exporting vaccines to countries in an expression of solidarity, European Council President Charles Michel on Saturday called on its partners and vaccine-producing countries to follow its example by maintaining and enabling supply chains.
"Since the first day of European mobilisation against COVID-19 last year, we showed solidarity by contributing funds to research to make vaccines available for the whole world. We played an active role in COVAX, so that vaccines could be available to the whole world," Michel said in a press briefing.
Maintaining that the EU is a major player in COVAX, he underscored that a key point of the initiative was to ensure that vaccine exports were possible from the EU.
"The fact that we are exporting vaccines doses does show our solidarity and we encourage all of our partners and vaccine producing countries to follow our example by maintaining and enabling supply chains," he added.
The European Council President stressed that no one would be able to feel safe until the entire world has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Speaking on European commitment towards social issues, Michel said: "We have put a central stage and ambitions to come back, again and again, to talk about social issues at heads of state and government levels. Progress made to consolidate our EU social commitment."
"We want a greener year so that we can tackle climate issues, we want a more dedicated Europe which drives us to benefit from innovation and increased prosperity, and we want a more social Europe to express fraternity, solidarity and to create equality and unity for all European citizens," he further said.
Meanwhile, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen informed that about 25 per cent of the European population has received the first shot of COVID-19 vaccines.
"Of course, delivering vaccine doses is good but vaccination is even better. Close to 160 million Europeans now have already received the first shot of the vaccine, that is over 25 per cent of the EU population," she said.
Around 70 per cent of the European population will get vaccinated by July 2021. "We have now delivered over 200 million doses (of vaccine) to the European people. So, we are on track to achieve our projective of enough doses being delivered in July to vaccinate 70 per cent of the European adult population," said von der Leyen.
This comes in the backdrop of the India-EU Leaders' Meeting held today, wherein both sides discussed forging closer cooperation on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, tackling climate change, and reforming multilateral institutions. (ANI)