President of the Republic of Lithuania President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President and EU leaders assessed testing and vaccination strategies for COVID-19

2020-11-20

President Gitanas Nausėda took part at the meeting of the European Council convened via the video conference to discuss the coordinated response of the European Union to the pandemic crisis as well as progress in developing testing and vaccination strategies.

At the Council meeting, the EU leaders spoke about production volumes, procurement, logistics and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine. “We already know that vaccines with high efficacy have been developed. We have an opportunity to buy safe and effective vaccines with other EU member states as soon as they are licensed by the European Medicines Agency. It is clear that early access to the vaccine would save many lives and at the same time have a significant positive impact on public health and the economy. I also called on the EU leaders to start developing a coordinated exit strategy”, the President said.

The EU leaders agreed that successful vaccination is inseparable from proper and timely communication to the public, and that a public information strategy combating misinformation was needed at EU level. The President added that the spread of misleading information among the public was becoming a dangerous element in the EU's fight against the pandemic. “Vaccination is the most important step in our return to usual life”, the President said.

President Nausėda assessed the general guidelines published by the European Commission on the use of rapid antigen tests and called upon the member states to agree on the use of these tests. The President also shared the insights and recommendations of the Council of Health Experts established at his initiative on the use of rapid antigen and serological tests in screening for the Covid-19. Effective and rapid testing will remain one of the key factors for management of the pandemic until safe and effective vaccine is available.

The Council also touched upon the growing mental health problem of the EU citizens. The EU leaders also noted some fatigue among the public due to the pandemic. The President emphasized the importance of a positive psychological background in combating the pandemic and shared Lithuania's experience saying that, in this respect, Lithuania was a step ahead, as the Council of Health Experts was already working on recommendations to the Government on measures to improve the psychological climate in the country.

The EU leaders exchanged views on the veto on the agreement on the multiannual financial framework and the Recovery Fund by the Polish and Hungarian leaders due to the link between the rule of law and the allocation of funding. The President highlighted the importance of dialogue and the need to complete legal procedure for the adoption of the multiannual EU budget and the Recovery Fund as soon as possible, so that the planned funds could be used.

The President‘s Communication Group

Last updated 2020.11.20 12:28

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