defense summit, aid in Afghanistan… Ursula von der Leyen’s announcements

September 15, 2021 by archyde

► A summit on European defense in 2022 organized by France

In the first half of 2022, the French presidency of the European Union will organize a defense summit. “The time has come for Europe to shift into high gear” to “Defend against cyber attacks, act where NATO and the UN are not present and manage crises in time”, an expliqué Ursula von der Leyen.

The creation of a European rapid reaction force of 5,000 soldiers has been under discussion for several months and the American withdrawal from Afghanistan has revived the debate by underlining the military deficiencies of the Old Continent. The president of the Brussels executive pointed out three obstacles to overcome: the lack of cooperation in intelligence matters, the problem of interoperability of European military equipment and deficiencies in cyber defense.

Ursula von der Leyen called for the creation of a European center to channel and merge European intelligence and elements of analysis. It also proposed to Member States to “Waive VAT when purchasing defense equipment developed and produced in Europe” and defended the adoption of a “European cyber defense policy with legislation on common standards”.

► 100 million euros in additional humanitarian aid for Afghanistan

To avoid a “Humanitarian disaster”, the European Union will provide an additional 100 million euros in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. Ursula von der Leyen clarified that this aid would be part of a “New, broader set of support measures for Afghanistan” who will be presented ” in the next weeks “. The EU had already announced that it would quadruple its humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and neighboring countries to reach 200 million in 2021.

→ READ. Afghan refugees: Europe wants to help, but from a distance

► A bill against violence against women by the end of 2021

The European Commission will propose by the end of the year a law to fight against violence against women, announced Ursula von der Leyen, believing that “Too many women must have lived in fear during this pandemic (from Covid-19, Editor’s note) ». “It is about effective criminal prosecution, preventive and protective measures”, both online and in real life, she said.

→ PODCAST. “Marital murder, telling the irreconcilable”

► 200 million additional doses of vaccines for poor countries

The European Union will give 200 million additional doses of Covid-19 vaccine to poor countries by mid-2022, in addition to the 250 million doses already promised. “It is a solidarity investment and it is also an investment in global health”said Ursula von der Leyen stressing that while in the European Union more than 70% of adults are vaccinated, “Less than 1% of vaccine doses were administered in poor countries”.

→ INVESTIGATION. Vaccination against Covid: the gap is widening

These donations are made mainly through the international distribution mechanism Covax, which has so far been able to distribute only 243 million doses in 139 underprivileged countries.

► A law on semiconductors

Brussels will propose a European law on semiconductors to defend the technological sovereignty of the EU in this strategic area, promised Ursula von der Leyen as shortages paralyze several sectors of activity. “The objective is to create together a European ecosystem of semiconductors at the cutting edge of progress, integrating production. This secures our supplies and will allow us to develop new markets for innovative European technologies ”, she said.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my