POLITICO Brussels Playbook: Vaccine firsts — Jumping the gun — Barnier’s legacy – POLITICO

FINALLY: Sure, the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is made in Belgium — however the first Belgians to get the jab have needed to wait till right this moment. If you’re questioning when, the place and which shot you’ll get, learn Camille Gijs’ information to Belgium’s coronavirus vaccine technique.

GOOD MORNING, I’m Maïa de La Baume, a reporter on POLITICO’s Brussels crew. Today’s Playbook involves you from Burgundy, in the Côte-d’Or area, one in all the hubs of France’s vaccine rollout.

VAX CENTRAL       

EU’S FIRSTS: Less than a 12 months after the coronavirus unfold to Europe, the bloc began vaccinating its inhabitants towards COVID-19 this weekend. Among the first to get the jab have been Massimo Vajani, a resident of Codogno, the Italian village the place the nation’s Patient Zero emerged … 78-year-old Mauricette, who was inoculated at a hospital in the Paris suburbs … And Araceli Rosario Hidalgo, a 96-year-old who lives in Guadalajara, close to Madrid. “We’ll see if we succeed to get that virus away from us,” Hidalgo instructed El País newspaper.

Political privilege: In the Czech Republic, the first particular person to get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was Andrej Babiš, the nation’s billionaire populist prime minister. Next up: World War II veteran Emilie Repikova.

Happy president: “I’m touched to see people taking the vaccine everywhere across the EU. From Madrid to Paris, Athens to Riga,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted on Sunday. “First we protect the more vulnerable. Soon we’ll have enough doses for all of us.” In whole, the EU has negotiated contracts for over 2 billion vaccine doses from numerous suppliers, with the purpose of constructing pictures out there to the entirety of its grownup inhabitants by the finish of 2021. (Reuters breaks down the numbers of what number of are going the place.) Jillian Deutsch writes that the EU’s V-Day is (principally) a win for the Commission president.

Meanwhile, in Germany: Edith Kwoizalla, a 101-year-old German care residence resident, acquired her shot a day sooner than most, after the facility’s supervisor Tobias Krüger determined they couldn’t maintain off. “Every day we wait is one day too many,” he instructed DPA newswire.

Also leaping the gun: Hungary, which started rolling out vaccines Saturday. The transfer got here on the again of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spending months boasting his authorities was working more durable than others to safe vaccines and claiming Hungary could be the first nation in Europe to make use of Russian and Chinese pictures. But these vaccines are nowhere to be seen, and Orbán’s critics say he might need undermined confidence in COVID vaccination typically, experiences Jillian Deutsch.

SAYING NON: According to French weekly Journal du Dimanche, a ballot carried out by BVA and the WIN community discovered solely 44 p.c of French individuals say they might think about getting vaccinated. La France with out a dose of skepticism wouldn’t be La France.

MERRY BREXMAS AND A HAPPY NEW DEAL       

CATCH UP: In case you missed the element of the EU-U.Ok. post-Brexit commerce deal, described by the two sides as the largest bilateral commerce pact in historical past, you’ll be able to learn the entire factor right here. If you don’t have, oh, 30 hours or so to spare, you’ll be happy to listen to POLITICO’s Anna Isaac has accomplished the soiled be just right for you, and has this nifty information to the 10 key particulars you must learn about.

What’s subsequent: The U.Ok. parliament and EU member nations could have till midnight January 1 to rubber-stamp the 1,246-page settlement.

First up: European diplomats will meet at 11:30 a.m. right this moment and are anticipated to conform to provisionally apply the pact “by written procedure,” one EU diplomat instructed Playbook. (That means the deal will come into power after December 31 — however the European Parliament will nonetheless want to provide it the inexperienced mild early subsequent 12 months.) It isn’t clear whether or not the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier or somebody from his crew will attend the so-called Coreper assembly of ambassadors. The German authorities can also be anticipated to approve the deal this morning, Hans von der Burchard writes in to report.

On to the EP: The European Parliament’s U.Ok. Coordination Group will meet this morning to debate the method ahead. After that, Parliament President David Sassoli will convene a Conference of Presidents with political group leaders, plus Barnier and von der Leyen. “There will be questions, and perhaps criticism,” Barnier instructed Figaro on Sunday. “But there aren’t any surprises in the text.” More from Barnier’s interview beneath …

… BUT FIRST, READ THIS: U.Ok. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given an interview to the Telegraph through which he suggests there are a number of areas the place Britain may diverge from the bloc — however his authorities has been conserving quiet in order to not jeopardize the commerce talks. “We haven’t necessarily wanted to talk about them much during this period because that perhaps would not have been fruitful,” Johnson stated. “What I say to my colleagues is free ports, yes, free trade deals, fantastic, changing animal welfare regulations, great, new stuff on data or chemicals, let’s have a look at it all. We want to see what we can take forward. We don’t want to diverge for the sake of diverging. But we’re going to want to do things differently where that’s useful for the British people.”

**POLITICO is launching the Paris version of its flagship Playbook. From February 2021, Playbook Paris will publish on weekday mornings in French, lifting the curtain on the energy behind the scenes in the French capital with unique information, sharp perception and contact of humor. Sign up right here.**

BUILDING A LEGACY       

NOT A HAPPY DIVORCE: Le Figaro requested Michel Barnier if he was pleased with the Brexit deal. “Yes and no. Can we be happy about a divorce?” he replied. The former French minister additionally acknowledged disputes between the EU and the U.Ok. may happen in the future. “There is evidently a risk … but I won’t make any unfounded accusations here. This agreement must be the basis of a smart and sustainable cooperation between Europe and the U.K.”

Hard-nosed Brits: Barnier acknowledged the EU and U.Ok. “have been on the verge of break-up several times” throughout the commerce talks, together with “a month ago and in Brussels more recently.” He stated the most delicate points emerged at the finish. “The British have experienced diplomats who don’t give up and always ask for more,” Barnier stated. “They wanted the best of both worlds!” But it was VDL to the rescue: Barnier stated the Commission president acquired “directly” concerned in the “last arbitration” of the deal, together with on fisheries. “Overall, the Commission’s chain of action under Ursula von der Leyen’s authority this year has been impeccable.”

Memoir in the making: Barnier instructed Figaro he wouldn’t give too many particulars about the negotiations as a result of “I will tell about those four extraordinary years this spring in a book-diary.” Asked about his future, the former French minister stated he had “missed France” throughout Brexit negotiations and would return to home politics. The proper and center-right in France want a “new momentum” that’s “necessary for the balance of our country and for the French political debate,” he stated. Read into that what you’ll.

IN OTHER NEWS       

NORTHERN IRELAND STAYS IN ERASMUS: The Irish authorities will fund Erasmus+ grants for Northern Irish college students to allow them to proceed to take part in Europe’s flagship alternate program post-Brexit. More right here from Laurens Cerulus.

SEEHOFER WANTS DEPORTATION TO SYRIA: German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer stated Sunday he desires to deport Syrians dwelling in Germany again to their residence nation if they’re thought of to pose a terror threat or have dedicated a critical crime, Hans von der Burchard writes in to report. “As of January 1 2021, we will check every individual case and see whether a deportation is possible,” Seehofer instructed Bild am Sonntag newspaper, including: “Those who commit serious crimes or trample our constitution must leave our country.” Yet he acknowledged the potential problem of placing the coverage into follow: Syria has been embroiled in civil struggle for nearly a decade and there are not any direct flights from Germany to any airport in the nation.

INTERESTING READ — YOU CAN’T SAVE THE PLANET (ALONE): Individual motion gained’t be sufficient to cease local weather change, however it will possibly inspire others to take action, writes Eline Schaart on this good learn.

OVER AND OUT       

POLITICO’S MOST-READ STORIES OF 2020: Sofia Diogo Mateus has crunched the numbers and has this listing of our 20 most-read tales of 2020. Take a tour of a few of the most consequential information occasions in Europe this 12 months.

BIRTHDAYS: Member of the Sejm Tadeusz Zwiefka, beforehand an MEP; Former MEP Martina Werner; Mustafa Akıncı, former president of the self-declared Turkish Cypriot state and POLITICO 28 alum.

Celebrated Sunday: MEPs Agnès Evren and Josianne Cutajar; Former MEP Scott Ainslie; POLITICO’s Shéhérazade Semsar de Boisséson, Tim Ball and Nicholas Vinocur; Spokesperson of the Croatian perm rep Bruno Lopandic; WSVN 7 News’ Kevin Ozebek; Kurt Volker, former U.S. particular consultant for Ukraine negotiations and former everlasting consultant to NATO; Aker ASA’s Christina Glenn.

Celebrated Saturday: MEP Mircea-Gheorghe Hava; Former MEP Eduard Kukan; POLITICO’s Clemence Vatier; ETUC’s Peter Scherrer.

MANY THANKS: Hans von der Burchard and our producer Arnau Busquets Guàrdia.

primarily based on web site supplies www.politico.eu

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