The European Council adopted conclusions on Next Generation EU and COVID-19
On 10 and 11 December 2020, the European Council adopted conclusions on the MFF and Next Generation EU, COVID-19, climate change, security and external relations.
The European Council welcomes the recent positive announcements
on the development of effective vaccines against COVID-19 and the conclusion of advance purchase agreements by the Commission.
However, the arrival of vaccines does not mean that the pandemic is over. The epidemiological situation in Europe remains worrying, even though the considerable efforts made by all are starting to yield results.
We must therefore sustain our efforts to counter the spread of the virus with a view to preventing further waves of infections.
The European Council welcomes the coordination of efforts at EU level so far and commits to strengthening this coordination, in particular in preparing for a gradual lifting of restrictions and a return to normal travel, including for cross-border tourism, when the sanitary situation allows.
It agrees on the need to enhance the sharing of experiences and of plans for the future.
Building on the work done over the past weeks, it invites the Commission to present a proposal for a Council recommendation on a common framework for rapid antigen tests and for the mutual recognition of test results.
A coordinated approach to vaccination certificates should also be developed.
Global public good
Vaccination should be treated as a global public good.
The EU will continue its efforts to contribute to the international response to the pandemic, including via the COVAX facility for guaranteeing affordable and fair access to vaccines for all.
The European Council highlights the need to pursue work to increase resilience in the area of health, including by taking forward the proposals for a Health Union and making full use of the potential of health data in Europe.