"It is clear the pandemic is not over and that we already need to prepare for future challenges now. Even with vaccines being approved and new vaccines up for approval by the European Medicines Agency, the challenges are still immense. There are substantial issues of vaccine availability due to insufficient production, supply and deployment. However, we should not only focus our attention on the current challenges, we also need to look ahead.”
Heléne Fritzon MEP, S&D vice-president responsible for health
In response to the European Commission’s latest action plan to prepare for the threat of coronavirus variants, we reiterated the need for more transparency and a faster approval process for updated vaccines in the face of new variants.
EU leaders will take part in the European Council (Thursday 25 and Friday 26 Feb) via video conference to discuss the EU’s response to the ongoing pandemic and the vaccination rollout strategy. S&D Group president Iratxe García Pérez will take part in the online PES leaders meeting on Thursday 25 February at 12:30.
MEDIA FREEDOM EVENT
Following attacks on media freedom in Poland, Hungary and Slovenia, the S&D Group is organising an online debate, Media and artistic freedom under attack, on Monday 22 February, 14:00 to 16:00. You can register for the event here.
Representatives of media and culture organisations will participate alongside S&D Group leader Iratxe García, Petra Kammerevert MEP (S&D co-ordinator for education and eulture), Elena Yoncheva MEP, Domènec Ruiz Devesa MEP and EP vice-president Klára Dobrev. Find out more in the event’s programme.
On Wednesday 24 February, S&D MEPs will be taking part on a meeting on the attacks on abortion rights and breaches of the Rule of Law in Poland. Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, will also take part in the joint meeting of the women’s rights committee and the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee.
On Thursday, the Competitiveness Council will be discussing proposals on public country-by-country reporting (CBCR). For the S&D Group, public CBCR is a strong tool to fight tax evasion and profit shifting through transparency, by obliging big multinationals to disclose where they make a profit and how much they pay in taxes.