The year behind us in the European Union began and ends with the same unanswered questions, related to vaccination, new strains of the kovid virus19, the energy crisis and disputes over Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, corruption, shortages of raw materials and declining purchases. power, for Europe, so to speak, sandwiched between China, on which the economy depends, and the United States, whose ally is…
(illustration, The year has passed in Europe – again – in the wake of the corona virus pandemic)
At the beginning of 2021, there was a shortage of vaccines against the Kovid virus in most Western European countries – 19. EU countries were mostly “locked up” for months.
In the European Parliament in February, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von de Layen, was the target of fierce criticism from MPs who demanded free access to the content of negotiations on the purchase of vaccines and contracts concluded with manufacturers.
Almost everything remained a trade secret in the business in which vaccines were paid for with EU citizens’ money
The pharmaceutical industry instead of the European government?
“When it comes to managing the vaccination strategy, I have the impression, Ms. von der Layen, that your job was done by a large pharmaceutical industry instead of you. First, when it comes to negotiations and agreements – everything is hidden from the public. Despite the requests of our parliament – we did not receive any information. Only three contracts were published thanks to pressure from citizens. And here is what those agreements look like, “said Martin Aubrey, a French member of the United Left Group in the European Parliament, addressing the President of the European Commission and pointing to a page of paper with everything but a few words on it – darkened.
In short: almost everything remained a trade secret in the business in which vaccines were paid for with citizens’ money.
Throughout 2021, MPs insisted in vain that they be given access to contracts with vaccine manufacturers. Then, on September 16, Emily O’Reilly, mediator and protector of citizens’ rights at the European Union, sent a letter to Ursula von der Lajen. Orajli asked for explanations regarding the text messages that the President of the European Commission exchanged with the Director General of Pfizer, which was discovered and published by the New York Times in April. We should hear the sequel in 2022.
Martin Aubrey, French MEP, shows obscured parts of vaccine purchase agreement for EU
The United Left has launched a petition in the European Parliament http://www.right2cure.eu/fr_be which calls for vaccines to become the property of humanity. The goal is to collect a million signatures.
“We cannot allow pharmaceutical multinationals to profit from the pandemic,” said the petitioners, who believe that the enormous enrichment of vaccines reduces trust in vaccination. The goal is to collect one million signatures so that a request can be sent to the European Commission to propose new laws.
On the eve of the summer vacation, vaccination became more frequent, primarily due to the introduction of the obligation to have a health passport, in September and October it seemed as if the epidemic was over.
The omicron strain then began to spread. France announced in December that the health passport would become vaccine from January, which means that in fact (although not formally and legally) “compulsory vaccination” will be introduced. There are no common European rules on this issue, but most countries are moving in the same direction – towards the introduction of mandatory vaccination.
As nuclear power plants close in Germany, new ones are planned to be built in France: Gronde nuclear power plant will be one of the power plants closing in Germany on Friday (today)
Dispute over nulears
The December summit of EU heads of state and government left open the question of whether nuclear energy can be considered “clean” because it does not pollute the atmosphere with carbon dioxide.
France, as the largest producer of nuclear energy, believes that nuclear power plants should be included in the “green plan” of the EU and given subsidies provided for renewable energy sources.
Germany, which has long banned nuclear power plants, will not even hear – the issue of radioactive waste disposal has not been resolved, whether the nuclear power plants are small or large. Austria even threatened to sue the European Commission if it granted the French request.
France is against the gas pipeline from Russia, Germany is fighting to make the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline work
The pipeline is still not working
There is also disagreement about the submarine gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, which directly connects Russia and Germany. France opposes its establishment, stating that Europe must not become energy dependent on Russian gas.
However, at the December EU summit, French President Macron and the new German Chancellor Scholz held a joint press conference, without going into details related to energy issues.
After the statement of the head of German diplomacy Analena Berbock, from the ranks of the Greens, that Nord Stream 2 cannot get a permit due to tensions on the Ukrainian border, Chancellor Scholz, the Social Democrat, said that it was no longer a political problem and that the only question was whether whether the competent services approve it or not.
These contradictions in the ruling German coalition are clearer, if it is known that, unlike the Greens, the Social Democrats have always supported energy cooperation with Russia.
Despite the applause and praise with which she was sent, the outgoing Chancellor at the last press conference in Brussels, seemed quite worried
Merkel leaves, “through problems” remains
On that occasion, many remembered former Chancellor Merkel and the style of work of her administration. At the end of October, Angela Merkel held a press conference in Brussels after the one hundred and seventh and last meeting of the European Council, in which she participated as Chancellor.
Despite the applause and praise with which she was sent, the outgoing Chancellor at the last press conference in Brussels, seemed quite worried:
“I am leaving the European Union as Chancellor in a situation that worries me.” With mutual respect, we should make an effort to find common solutions. “We have unresolved issues,” she said Angela Merkel, leaving the European political scene.
Yes, the EU is entering 2022 with a number of problems.
In 2021, there remain unresolved issues of accepting migrants who continue to lose their lives en masse crossing the Mediterranean and the English Channel, who are freezing and dying this winter lost in the forests between Belarus and Poland.
Problems due to low population growth and labor shortage are also unresolved. The puzzle of reconciling dependence on China and loyalty to the United States is also unresolved. How to continue to impose sanctions on Russia, and depend on its energy sources? How to implement plans for economic growth and development of artificial intelligence in a situation when there is a lack of raw materials for electronic components and the automotive industry makes several months of production interruptions?
How to avoid social uprisings in the phase of the neoliberal system in which the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and to respect the neoliberal rule that the state must not interfere in the economy?
Finally, how can the EU preach a “green policy” without knowing what it is. Are environmental slogans enough or should the EU boycott and sanction the polluting industry, whether it does so inside or outside the Union?
Source: Balkan Magazin – Aktuelnosti by www.balkanmagazin.net.
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