During a European Parliament plenary debate on the European Union’s vaccination strategy on 19 January, President of the Renew Europe Group Dacian Cioloş welcomed the ambitious plan to offer access to COVID-19 vaccination to every European but cautioned that more transparency is needed to restore trust and confidence in the whole process.
He said: "We are still very much in the grip of this pandemic but there is finally some hope on the horizon. This vaccine gives us the hope that we can finally start slowly imagining a return to normal life, but we risk undermining it by a lack of transparency and unnecessary delays. The key to building trust with our citizens is through openness, we owe this to our citizens.”
Cioloş called for answers and more clarity on key issues such as distribution delay and the purchase of vaccines, adding: “We are clearly in a race against time, a race we cannot afford to lose but we are all being asked why are there delays in authorising vaccines and why is there such secrecy around the advance purchase agreements. This information should be in the public domain. We also need clarification on what will be done to increase the administration of vaccine doses across Europe and what will be done to win the race against evolving variants of the virus. These are questions that each citizen wants to know and if we leave these unanswered, then we risk damaging our common goal. Conspiracy theories are born from such darkness.”
Cioloş concluded by calling on the EU to prove its solidarity and strength as a powerful partner ready to overcome this crisis, in particular with partners in the Eastern and Western Balkans.
“Millions of people depend on this success or they will have to pay the price for our failure”, he said.