VILNIUS - The EU must step up its coordination efforts to stop the spread of the virus and ensure the protection of people‘s health, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said on Thursday following a video conference of the European Council.
"During the call, we agreed with European leaders that the current key priorities are the prevention of the spread of the virus, acquisition of medical equipment, tackling of social and economic consequences, return of the EU citizens to their home countries and development of vaccine and antiviral drugs," Nauseda posed on Facebook.
He also said the EU must take immediate action to make processes and procedures more flexible, and decisions on the supply of medical equipment to member states must be taken swiftly.
According to the Lithuanian president, the joint procurement process is too slow and there are delays of supply.
Nauseda also expressed his conviction that the EU, having such a pool of innovation, technology and talent, should step up cooperation in an effort to develop a coronavirus vaccine. "We have all conditions for that," the Lithuanian leader said.
The Lithuanian president also urged EU leaders to concentrate on drafting a solid financial package to tackle both long-term and short-term economic and social problems and be prepared to adopt additional measures.
"I do believe that a crisis management plan is only one side of the coin and preparations have to be made to address economic, social, environmental, education and other challenges after the crisis," Nauseda said.
The new COVID-19 is spreading in the whole of the EU, with Italy hit the hardest. EU member states are now procuring medical equipment together to ensure its supply to all member states fighting the coronavirus.