Cautious optimism takes over in final negotiation weeks
European citizens and businesses may find some additional gifts under their Christmas trees this year if all works out. Not only is the European Medicines Agency set to approve the first COVID-19 vaccine for Europe on Monday, but EU and UK negotiators may finally be close to agreeing the post-Brexit trade relationship. After months of growing pessimism on both sides of the English Channel over whether chief negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost would manage to reconcile the deep divisions between the UK Government’s vision for a post-Brexit “Global Britain” and the European Union’s protection of its coveted Single Market and Customs Union, a “very narrow path” to an agreement has now emerged according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Keep reading.
Commission President calls for same say vaccine roll-out across Member States
As additional lockdown restrictions are imposed across Member States and with vaccinations having started in the United States and United Kingdom, Europeans are eagerly awaiting market authorisation from the European Medicine’s Agency for the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. The EMA is expected to approve the vaccine at an extraordinary meeting on 21 December and then, within three days, the European Commission is set to give the green light. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has urged Member States to start vaccinating against Covid-19 as soon as possible. Speaking to the European Parliament on Wednesday, she said “To get to the end of the pandemic, we will need up to 70% of the population vaccinated. This is a huge task, a big task. So let’s start as soon as possible with the vaccination together, as 27, with a start on the same day”. Keep reading.
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