The president of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, will ask at this week’s European social summit in Porto that the EU to be more ambitious in its social agenda after the effects of the pandemic of coronavirus and will bring Spain’s proposal to the debate on the liberalization of vaccine patents. This will be the first in-person summit of community leaders in 2021, since those held so far this year had been telematic in nature due to restrictions to deal with covid-19. However, some of the heads of State or Government have preferred to still opt for participate by videoconference, as is the case with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
The event, which will take place on May 7 and 8, will take place in Porto as it was the city chosen for it by the rotating presidency of the EU held by the Portuguese Government.
Among the questions that the president carries in his portfolio is the Spanish proposal on the debate on the liberalization of patents for covid vaccines, after The United States has expressed its support for the suspension. The Government points out that the announcement that US President Joe Biden “marks the way, which India and South Africa have already started”, but it is not enough, and argues, firstly, that the approval of the suspension of patents within of the World Trade Organization requires time, and also flexibility from pharmaceutical companies to speed up the granting of licenses for other producers to manufacture vaccines. He adds that, in addition, for the manufacture of vaccines based on the liberalization of patents, it is necessary to reinforce the transfer of knowledge and technology, increase the global production of sera and accelerate their distribution throughout the planet.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said this Thursday that Europe is willing to debate the US proposal on the suspension of patents, but has claimed that “in the short term” the producing countries allow the export of vaccines and avoid measures that interrupt the supply to other countries. At this Porto summit, EU leaders will also approve a declaration on social rights that the Government wants to be as ambitious as possible, in line with the document it presented a few days ago in Brussels entitled “A renewed and ambitious social agenda “.
The general lines of this document are those that Sánchez will defend in Porto, who will participate in one of the three panels in which the summit will be organized, the one on employment and in which he will encourage taking advantage of the recovery plans to reduce the unemployment rate .
The Government text stresses that the recovery after the pandemic must be green, digital and social.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.