Ursula von der Leyen, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron and other European leaders, spoke at the Future of Europe conference which aims to bring nations together to tackle the continent’s medium and long term issues. During her speech, she addressed the EU issues that some felt were “too involved” in their lives, adding that the world was “fragmented” and therefore a reason for European unity. She added that the world was “full of contradictions” but did not refer to the European Union’s internal struggles and the misinformation surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“This is the opportunity to see how we can find the right balance.
“For some, Europe is too institutional and mechanical in the way it operates, this is an opportunity to see how we can simplify it and make it more down to earth where it is needed.
“For some, the story of peace is not as convincing as for others, it is an opportunity to contribute to the construction of a new common goal for all Europeans.
“It reminds us of the importance of a common goal and none of us can go it alone.
“The pandemic has been traumatic for people in Europe and around the world, it will be an integral part of so many lives and many parts of society.
“And like any trauma, we have to find a way to talk about it if we are to move beyond it. “
Countries like Ireland, Sweden and others disagreed with France and other member states pushing for more restrictive vaccine export powers to cope with declining l offer earlier this year.
The EU has also urged the United States and other powers to increase their vaccine exports, as nearly half of all vaccines made in Europe are exported to other countries.
Many pharmaceutical laboratories and factories are based in Europe and have contracts with countries to supply their vaccines.
The UK is set to lift its next round of restrictions on May 17 as its vaccination program is one of the best in the world.
More than 17 million people have received two injections and are therefore fully vaccinated in the UK, with plans currently in place for those under 40 to receive their dose.
The Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunizations (JCVI) said it will consider providing alternative injections for the new cycle due to the higher risk of blood clots in young people.
There have been 249 cases of blood clotting out of more than 28 million AstraZeneca vaccines given in the UK.