Twenty-four hours after the start of the G7 summit in Cornwall (Great Britain), the European Union joins the United States and supports the request for an investigation into the origin of covid-19. “It is extremely important that we know the origin of covid-19 .
We have to know where it has come from to get the right lessons, develop the right tools and ensure that it does not happen again ”, warned the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen , during a joint press conference with the President of the Council European, Charles Michel , to present the objectives of the EU for the first international meeting in which they will coincide this weekend with Joe Biden.
“We are very clear. We need full transparency to learn. The world has the right to know what has happened and we will support all efforts to find out the truth ”, added Michel. This transparency, according to European leaders, requires that international researchers have full access to information about the coronavirus, first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and the centers involved.
“There are a variety of different options that are being investigated right now and it is important that we define to have a single photograph of the beginning of the pandemic,” added von der Leyen.
So far the investigations carried out by the World Health Organization have not reached conclusive results. At the beginning of the year they determined that the virus jumped from an animal to humans but doubts remain about the possibility that the virus emerged in a laboratory – as Donald Trump denounced during the last US presidential campaign – and calls for new investigations they have not ceased. To the point that the US president commissioned the intelligence services at the end of May to thoroughly investigate the origins of the coronavirus and present a report within 90 days.
Biden arrives in Europe with his focus fixed on China
The closing of ranks with Washington will also be reflected in the joint declaration of the EU-United States summit that they will hold next Tuesday, June 15, in Brussels. The agreed draft calls for the launch of a “transparent” and interference-free investigation, based on evidence and led by WHO experts.
Before signing this text, European leaders will meet with the US president in Cornwall from where Biden will travel to Brussels to participate first in the NATO summit and a day later with the EU.
Health, climate, education and economy
“It is good that the United States is back and also that the G7 is back,” von der Leyen celebrated before a three-day meeting, chaired by the United Kingdom, with an agenda full of topics: from the pandemic and the impact from the crisis on the economy to health, climate, education or multilateral rules . On the coronavirus and health, the goal is for the G7 to commit to ending the pandemic in 2022 by accelerating vaccination worldwide.
“The EU has contributed massively from the beginning. They know the figures, ”von der Leyen recalled, underlining the importance of the COVAX initiative, to bring vaccines to low-income countries, and the promotion of vaccination at the domestic level.
“In Europe today more than 50% of the adult population has received at least one dose and 100 million euros are fully vaccinated and we have achieved this without ever stopping the export of vaccines.
Of the 700 million doses produced in the EU since last December, 350 million have been exported to 90 countries ”, he has detailed, inviting other partners to show an opening on which Brussels awaits specific announcements from Joe Biden.
What they have not entered into, nor does the draft declaration of next week’s summit enter, is the release of vaccine patents . A sensitive issue in which Brussels and Washington collide since Biden suggested the temporary release of them to accelerate vaccination in the world. A recipe that Brussels, despite the request this Thursday from the European Parliament, does not share.
According to the EU, the solution is to develop production capacities, especially in Africa, and the development of very promising mRNA technology also against other diseases such as tuberculosis or malaria.
The G7 summit will also address the response to climate change and the economic situation. On the table will also be the creation of a minimum corporate tax of 15% applicable to large multinationals . Once the seven powers of the planet endorse the proposal, it will go to the table of the G20 and the OECD.
The meeting, which will also be attended by the prime ministers of Australia, South Africa, South Korea and India , by videoconference, will also cover foreign policy issues such as Belarus, Russia, Iran, Ethiopia and China.