Von der Leyen leaves European Union summit to self-isolate

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 17, 2020

In proposing a reduction of at least 55%, compared with the current target of a 40% reduction by 2030, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen predicted in September that the new target would be "too much for some and not enough for others".

He urged European Union states to adopt a common strategy for the new phase of the pandemic and avoid the "cacophony" of different national measures that characterised the first months of the pandemic on the continent. Some have been postponed and some held by video-conference, but they returned to in-person summits over the summer as infection rates eased.

Shortly after the meeting began, von der Leyen said she had to leave immediately because a member of her team tested positive for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Von der Leyen has said she wants 37% of the 750 billion euros in the coronavirus recovery fund to be given to European Union countries to spend on environmental objectives, while 30% of the bloc's regular budget should be used for tackling climate change.

"I myself have tested negative".

Under Belgian rules, she is now required to self-isolate for seven days.

As for the Internal Market Bill tabled by the British government, the European Council said the Withdrawal Agreement reached in January this year must be "fully and timely implemented".

It was her second self-isolation in just two weeks.

Von der Leyen, 62, was supposed to brief leaders on Friday about European Commission-led negotiations with pharmaceutical companies to secure potential COVID-19 vaccines.

This is the second quarantine for von der Leyen this month, as she already self-isolated on October 5, after meeting a person who later tested positive for Covid-19.

Health policy is a national prerogative in the 27-country bloc and the EU Commission can only make recommendations for common measures.

According to a press release issued following the first part of the EU summit in Brussels, the European Council "notes with concern that progress on the key issues of interest to the Union is still not sufficient for an agreement to be reached" before the transition period ends on December 31.

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