Sánchez and Macron ask the European Union to donate part of their vaccines to the poorest countries

They warn that if Europe does not act now, other powers will use the injections as a geopolitical weapon.

The president of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, have signed a joint letter in which they ask the European Union to immediately launch a common mechanism to donate part of their Covid-19 vaccines to developing countries. “If the EU does not step forward, others will fill the void and use vaccines as a geopolitical tool“They warn in reference to the diplomacy of the injections that Russia and China are carrying out.

The letter is also signed by the prime ministers of Belgium, Alexander de Croo; Denmark, Mette Frederiksen; and Sweden, Steffan Löfven. It has been sent to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, as well as the president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU.

It is a joint contribution of Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden to the discussion on Covid-19 that will take place during this Friday’s dinner at the EU leaders’ summit held in Porto. The Heads of State and Government of the 27 have planned also discuss the release of patents on vaccines, a measure that has gained momentum following the support of the White House of Joe biden.

It is now urgent to approve a European mechanism to share vaccines, together with a commitment to share doses, “the joint letter states. It would involve the EU Member States sending part of the vaccines they have purchased centrally through Brussels to the poorest countries. no specific quota, but Macron has spoken in the past of 5%.

“We realize that we are calling for this step forward at a time when Europe is working to accelerate its own vaccination process in the coming weeks. However, we cannot neglect our responsibility. We must contribute to international efforts to combat this global health crisis as soon as circumstances allow, “claim the leaders.

For Moscow and Beijing to take advantage of the current pandemic crisis to obtain geopolitical gains would be detrimental to the interests of Europe. “Vaccines have become a matter of security policy and the EU cannot afford to be left behind. To this end, an increase in European production capacity will be a key priority, “the letter said.

As the world’s largest vaccine exporter, the EU must take a leadership position in boosting the production and distribution of vaccines around the world, fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors. It is about ensuring that the knowledge and technology to manufacture them “is shared proactively”, claim Sánchez and Macron.

“This is not only a political or moral issue, but also an epidemiological one. No one will be safe until we are all. If vaccination only occurs in developed countries, our victory over Covid-19 will be short-lived. We are seeing how quickly the virus mutates, creating new variants that pose new challenges, “warn the leaders.

“We must ensure that vaccination starts around the world to be able to defeat Covid-19 quickly and effectively. The EU must live up to its responsibilities as a world power. It is in our own interest,” he concludes. the letter.