Shemaine Bushnell Kyriakides
The President of the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen, warned of a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” in her state of the union speech today.
In her second state of the union address as the EU’s chief executive, von der Leyen called on member states and the rest of the world to accelerate the pace of vaccinations so as to avert another crisis. “Let's do everything possible to ensure that this does not turn into a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” she told lawmakers.
She also announced a donation of 200 million vaccine doses to third countries to be delivered by the middle of next year. "It is an investment of solidarity and it is also an investment in world health.”
imperfect as it might be, our Union is both beautifully unique and uniquely beautiful
As of August 31st, 70% of the adult population in the EU countries were fully vaccinated.
During her speech, von der Leyen continued to lay out the bloc’s priorities for the year ahead. This included technological independence in EU member states, thereby emphasizing the green initiative, tackling climate change, and calling on the bloc to be more assertive in its influence in foreign affairs.
She also praised the expeditious response in setting up the digital safe pass and hailed the establishment of NextGenerationEU to help member member states in both short-term recovery and long-term prosperity.
She ended her speech by saying that although the EU is "...imperfect as it might be, our Union is both beautifully unique and uniquely beautiful".