The Slovenia Times

Janša to meet von der Leyen on Thursday


Ljubljana - Prime Minister Janez Janša will meet European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday afternoon ahead of the EU summit in Brussels, the Commission said on Friday.

Janša and five other prime ministers called on von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel last week to ensure equal access to vaccines for all member states.

They also proposed a special summit dedicated to this topic. Such an event has not been called, but the topic will be discussed at next week's summit, while the six prime ministers talked to Michel via video link this week.

Discrepancies in supply increased above all due to AstraZeneca's failure to deliver the agreed quantities.

Von der Leyen said in her initial response to the appeal by prime ministers that the Commission had suggested a pro rata approach to vaccine supply, meaning quantities adapted to population figures, but the countries chose a different approach.

Statements by sources in the European Commission indicate that the letter by the six prime ministers does not have much chance to succeed. One source finds it problematic that the letter criticises a system with which initially everybody had agreed.

Every member state had the chance to order as much vaccine as is eligible for under the pro rata system. However, some member states ordered fewer doses, the source said, adding this was their decision and that it was now too late to change this.

Similar positions were shared with the STA by several other sources as well. Among other things, it was said that problems among member states are usually addressed in mutual cooperation and not through public critique, especially not by criticising the system with which there is nothing wrong and problems stem from decisions at the national level.

Apart from the vaccine distribution issues, Slovenia has also gotten significant attention in Brussels for other reasons, including criticism of attacks on media freedom and the appointment of EU-delegated prosecutors.


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