COVID-19 Vaccine: India-EU to discuss affordable vaccine to fight Coronavirus

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Updated: Jul 13, 2020 11:02 AM

The virtual summit will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Charles Michel, president of the European Council (which defines the EU’s political direction), and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission (EU executive branch).

COVID-19 Vaccine, India EU, india EU FTA, narendra modi, European Union annual summit, charles michel, covid 19 pandemic, latest news on covid 19 vaccineModi had expressed India’s readiness to contribute to global efforts as world’s foremost producer of vaccine, its proven capacity to supply quality medicines at low cost and large scientific talent. (Representational image: Reuters)

The stage is all set for India and the European Union (EU) annual summit virtually on Wednesday (July 15) after almost two years, where the agenda of talks will be focused on several issues including the India-EU FTA and finding a treatment for the coronavirus.

The virtual summit will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Charles Michel, president of the European Council (which defines the EU’s political direction), and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission (EU executive branch).

As has been announced earlier by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the leaders will discuss “Global cooperation and solidarity to protect lives, to mitigate the socio-economic consequences and to strengthen preparedness and response capacities. And the developments around the Covid-19 pandemic.”

India-EU Fight Against Global Pandemic COVID-19

“Around the world, there are various projects including vaccine being worked on for fighting the global pandemic COVID-19. Development of treatment is one of the areas of interesting work in India, Europe and other countries. Europe has already evolved systems for standards and regulatory framework and India has large and low-cost production capacities of vaccines and pharmaceuticals. Therefore, there is scope for both sides to work together to find affordable treatment and future vaccines against coronavirus for the entire humanity,” sources confirmed to Financial Express Online.

Recently, Prime Minister Modi and the President of the European Commission, Ms Ursula von der Leyen had exchanged letters on the global response on coronavirus pandemic.

Modi had expressed India’s readiness to contribute to global efforts as world’s foremost producer of vaccine, its proven capacity to supply quality medicines at low cost and large scientific talent.

During the pandemic, India has been sharing its available stock of medicines with over 120 countries and providing specific support to countries around the world which included several European countries.

India has the capabilities and will contribute to the healthcare of the world, Modi had conveyed to the European leaders.

President of the European Commission, Ms Ursula von der Leyen had launched the Coronavirus Global Response on May 4, as global action for universal access to affordable coronavirus vaccination, treatment and testing. The aim of this Global Response campaign is help strengthen health systems everywhere and support economic recovery in the world’s most fragile regions and communities.

And it has also raised pledges of Euro 15.9 billion (USD 17.5 billion) in less than two months out of which over 70% has been raised by European states and institutions. This amount is expected to give access to Covid-19 Tools for the entire humanity through WHO, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance.

India’s Role in the area of vaccines

It contributes to immunization of about 60% of the world’s children. Under Mission Indradhanush – ‘Mission Rainbow’it has ensured full vaccination of the children and pregnant women in the remotest parts of the country.

India has added six new vaccines in its national immunization programme and it has digitized its entire vaccine supply line and developed an Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network to monitor the integrity of its cold chain.

India-EU FTA

After a break of two years, the two sides are having the annual summit. The two sides have been witnessing strain in ties over trade and investment as well over the scrapping of Article 370 in Kashmir and matters related to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

This year the summit was scheduled for March 13 but had to be deferred due to the global pandemic.

Negotiations on the proposed India-EU free trade agreement (FTA), has been stalled for some time. The government in its first term was not keen on closing the agreement in 2014.

The government is now looking at a preferential trade agreement (PTA) with the EU. And this, according to sources will be on the table for discussion.

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