News item

Belgium launches European offensive to improve vaccine approach

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, together with his Danish, Spanish, Lithuanian and Polish counterparts, is calling for a better European approach to vaccines, particularly in terms of controlling the production of vaccines. He does this on the eve of the European Summit in a letter to the President of the European Council Charles Michel and his fellow European heads of government.

Alexander De Croo: "An incredible amount of work has been done by vaccine producers in the past year. A real tour de force to develop several effective vaccines in a year's time. But the current roll-out and production problems in Europe cast a very dark shadow over all those efforts. That really has to improve a lot."

In the driver's seat

"Europe should not just be a lawyer who concludes contracts. It must also be a manager who sits in the driver's seat and takes control on the ground. A repeat of the past few months with the next pandemic, or even with the second generation of vaccines, is really not an option. Europe can and must do better.

In recent weeks, Belgium and Denmark have also worked out some concrete proposals on how Europe can better deal with pandemic emergencies. In concrete terms, they propose, among other things, the creation of a European biodefense agency, modelled on the US agency (BARDA). The agency would work with companies to increase production capacity, ensure faster and more efficient approval procedures and solve or - better still - prevent unexpected problems.

Not business as usual

"This is not business as usual. In times of crisis, you need a war mentality, so to speak. It's all about getting things done. That spirit has to be present much more," concludes Prime Minister De Croo.

Read the entire letter: Letter Michel_220221.pdf