EP Plenary Intervention on the EU vaccination strategy: “There is no room for missteps when human lives are at stake.”

There is no doubt that a coordinated European approach is the only safe path for EU Member States in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together we are stronger.

Europe’s citizens are right to have high expectations.

They demand speed and effectiveness.

Mistakes and delays are not easily forgiven.

It is true that, to date, there have been a number of unfortunate missteps.

To a certain degree this is to be expected because of the unprecedented and complicated health challenges on an international scale.

But there is no room for missteps when human lives are at stake.

We must reply definitively and effectively to the criticism and doubt which are eroding the clout and reliability of a united Europe.

This can only be achieved with concrete action.

I, for one, am certain that in the immediate future we will be able to convert this challenge into an opportunity.

Yes, indeed we can display greater determination, quicker reflexes and be more forceful in our negotiations.

Yes, we can coordinate better and improve our methods in order to live up to the expectations of European citizens.

Yes, we can prove that together we are capable of surmounting obstacles and winning difficult battles, and assume our rightful leadership role in a global environment.

In Greece we say “The first step is always the hardest.”

But we also say “It’s the result that counts.”

And in the end, those of us who support the European Union will be judged by results.