European Council meets on COVID-19 pandemic

Prime Minister Löfven represented Sweden at the video conference. Photo: Government Offices of Sweden

Coordinated crisis responses and deployment of vaccines were two of the issues that Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven discussed when he met other European Union (EU) leaders via a video conference of the European Council on Thursday afternoon.

The heads of state and government also considered the negotiations on the EU’s long-term budget.

The EU leaders exchanged experiences of testing methods and discussed mutual recognition of tests and the efforts to produce and distribute a vaccine.

“We need to do more to coordinate our crisis responses. We must work together to procure and deploy a future vaccine, and we need to strengthen our joint preparedness. The EU’s joint efforts to develop reliable rapid tests are also important,” said Mr Löfven.

At the meeting, the EU leaders also received an update on the negotiations on the EU’s long-term budget and respect for the rule of law in relation to the long-term budget.

“From Sweden’s perspective, it is important that the EU’s long-term budget is adopted as soon as possible. It is very important that COVID-19 support can be rolled out to those who have been hit hard in the Member States. I don’t want to speculate tonight on when it will be settled, but the negotiated budget, the recovery fund and the requirement of respect for the rule of law must apply,” added Mr Löfven after the meeting.