The European Commission has signed a new contract with Moderna for the supply of 150 million doses of vaccine against Covid-19, said President Ursula von der Leyen. Deliveries are likely to be from the third quarter of this year to 2022. The Commission expects to achieve 70% vaccination of the adult population in the EU countries by July and is already preparing a stockpile of vaccines for possible revaccination.
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The state of the rule of law was a major topic discussed today at the General Affairs Council. With details on this topic, as well as on the topic of whether there will be development on the case with the negotiating framework of the Republic of North Macedonia.
Bulgaria’s position on the Republic of North Macedonia remains unchanged and the decision to start EU accession talks with Skopje and Tirana is postponed. Deputy Foreign Minister Rumen Alexandrov is taking part in the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg today. This was the last meeting of the Council under the Portuguese Presidency, at which the negotiating framework with the Republic of North Macedonia and Albania could have been adopted and the two countries could have started negotiations.
Rumen Alexandrov told his counterparts that Sofia remained open to a constructive dialogue with the forthcoming Slovenian Presidency to find mutually acceptable solutions. According to him, Bulgaria expects Skopje to start implementing in practice the commitments made on June 17, 2021 in Sofia. This includes an explicit renunciation of territorial, minority and historical claims to Bulgaria, the removal of inscriptions at monuments and memorial plates of texts inciting hatred towards Bulgaria, the activation of a process of rehabilitation of the victims of Yugoslav communism, repressed because of their Bulgarian self-consciousness. Our country continues to insist that the implementation of the Good Neighbourliness Treaty by the Republic of North Macedonia be included among the conditions in the future Negotiating Framework for Skopje’s accession to the EU.
Ministers also discussed rule of law issues in Poland and Hungary today.
„I am here to share the European Commission’s assessment of what happened after the last hearings – for Poland the hearing was in 2018 and for Hungary – in 2019. According to the European Commission, the situation is not moving in the right direction. For us, the principles of respect for the rule of law are fundamental in European democracies and we must continue the proceedings against both sides, because there are things that give us a reason to do so, „said Vera Jourova, EU Commissioner for Values and Transparency.