Western Balkans and EU News
05.05.21 | Opinions

[Comment] : Better late than too late, Mr. Varhelyi


EU delivers anti-COVID-19 vaccines to Western Balkans six countries, finally.

 By Ekrem Krasniqi

Brussels/Prishtina, 05 May 2021, dtt-net.com – For yet unknown reasons, the European Commission (EC) and EU 27 member states had not included the six Western Balkans countries, and its  17,77 million inhabitants from the list while making first deals with pharmaceutical companies for purchase of anti-COVID-19 vaccines last year.

 EU decision makers made deals at that time only for their 447,7 million inhabitants. None in the EU really explained why and how come it happened so.

 None of EU politicians in Brussels nor in the capitals would take charge of how come citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia were ignored.

 Some in Brussels would say that there it was because of certain EU policy rules and regulations which made it impossible for the EC to purchase for third countries.

 But, that was last year. Things changed this year.

 After some initial contingents of vaccines delivered through COVAX network, co-founded by the EU, more than 600,000 vaccines started being delivered to the region this week, directly negotiated and purchased by the EU or its member states. The EC and Austria are the ones who did the job this time so vaccines reach the region.

 It sounds like some in Brussels and other capitals understood the mistake of last year. Was it because of China and Russian vaccines occupying most of the vaccine market in the region ? It maybe so, or it may be the criticism from the region of being left behind. But who cares what’s the real reason of EU engine turned on now.

 Kosovo was and is the only country in the region who suffered and risked because of its firm position against vaccines from Russia and China:

 Western-made vaccines or no vaccines at all, Kosovan leaders decided.

Kosovo, the most isolated country by the EU and the poorest in the European continent made a risky health bet this time.

4680 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses were delivered Tuesday by the EU and Austria to Prishtina. 

 Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi was there on Wednesday to show how the EU cares about the region and Kosovo citizens.

 Better late than too late, Mr Varhelyi. Well done, Austria too.

 

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(The author in founder of dtt-net.com press agency on Western Balkans - EU)
05.05.21 | Opinions