Invitation letter by President Charles Michel to the members of the European Council ahead of their video conference of 21 January 2021
I would like to invite you to our next video conference on the fight against COVID-19 on Thursday 21 January at 18.00.
The infection rates across Europe and the emergence of new, more contagious variants of the virus warrant the utmost caution. The prospect of vaccinations is encouraging but we must maintain our vigilance and continue our testing and tracing approach while allowing EU cross-border movements.
In order to ensure better coordination, I would like us to exchange on best practices on the measures taken across Member States and discuss the outlook for the coming weeks.
Our most pressing issue is vaccines. The good news is that today we have access to two vaccines approved in the European Union and we have secured agreements for four others.
Accelerating vaccination across the EU is our absolute priority. I will first invite the Commission to offer a state of play on the vaccination roll-out, future production increases and the equitable access to vaccines. Member States can then share their experience on the implementation of vaccination campaigns.
The vaccination process opens the debate on certification. We will discuss the suitability of a common approach to certification, as well as, if appropriate, under which circumstances certificates could be used.
Lastly, we should touch on cooperation with third countries in relation to vaccines, which should be treated as a global public good. We will look at how we can assist partners in the neighbourhood and beyond.
I look forward to a fruitful exchange.