This week we talk about the Sakharov Prize 2020, Brexit, covid-19 vaccine
EU PARLIAMENT AWARDS BELARUS DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION
Last week, during the EU Parliament’s plenary, there has been the ceremony for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, namely the highest tribute paid by the European Parliament to those who work for or fight for human rights.
This year the prize has been devoted to the democratic opposition of Belarus, chosen by the EP leaders on October 22, which peacefully opposes the regime of Belarus’ President Lukašėnko, in charge since 1994. The award has been given by EP President David Sassoli to Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, main opposition’s candidate, and Veranika Tsapkala, activist, on behalf of the Belarus opposition. President Sassoli stated “The whole world is aware of what is happening in your country. We see your courage. We see the courage of women. We see your suffering. We see the unspeakable abuses. We see the violence. Your aspiration and determination to live in a democratic country inspires us.”
BREXIT: EU-UK DEAL STILL FAR. CHAOS IN DOVER.
On Friday 18 December, MEPs voted in favor of the measures of contingency set up by the EU Commission in case of a no-deal Brexit, in order to prevent any disruption in matter of transport and to extend the authorization related to fisheries, the most debated subject. Time is running out, as the EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier reminded “this is the moment of truth. We have just few hours to work through this negotiation if you want this agreement to enter into force on January 1st.”
However, not only the EP’s deadline for a deal to be approved within January 1st has been surpassed, but in the meantime the first signs of what a no-deal Brexit means has come to show: Mile-long queue of trucks stuck in Dover (UK), due to the problem arising in matter of logistics, with the necessity of bringing parts, goods and food into the UK before the country leaves the EU’s single market and customs union.
EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY AND EU COMMISSION APPROVE VACCINE AGAINST COVID-19
On December 21, after the positive recommendations made by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the EU Commission has finally approved the distribution of the vaccine against covid-19 produced by BioNTech/Pfizer. The first doses of vaccine started to be distributed to all EU Member States, so that the official EU Vaccination day can take place by the end of December.