Von der Leyen says EU must consider mandatory jabs

EU Commission President von der Leyen has called for a swift response to the Omicron variant and said EU member states should debate mandatory vaccination, stressing that one-third of EU citizens are not vaccinated. While some see her advice as a step in the right direction, others believe it will backfire.

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Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

International rules needed

At least this marks the start of a debate on uniform rules at the European level, Eesti Päevaleht points out:

“In particular we need to agree on everything mandatory vaccination entails. You can travel with a digital Covid certificate, but what you can do once you arrive varies from country to country. In some countries, even with a negative test you can't go to restaurants, concerts or museums. In Greece, for example, unvaccinated people over 60 will be fined 100 euros a month starting January 16. Will that also hold for unvaccinated Estonian pensioners who travel there? As several more countries are planning to make vaccination mandatory, international rules will have to be agreed on.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

EU has no business imposing mandatory jab

Dagens Nyheter says mandatory vaccination across the EU is a bad idea typical of von der Leyen:

“Her automatic reaction is often to expand the power of the EU institutions. Vaccination sceptics are unlikely to be impressed. On the contrary, there is a risk their numbers will grow if the mandate for medical treatment comes from the 'superstate'. What's the next step if fines and penalties don't work? In Austria, prisons are ready and waiting.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

Constitution must apply even in times of crisis

Compulsory vaccination contradicts the fundamental values of the French Republic, political analyst Mathieu Slama writes in a guest article in Le Figaro:

“The current health policy represents a serious political revolution which is compatible neither with the principle of human rights nor with that of the indivisibility of the Republic. We are witnessing an unprecedented paradigm shift: a vaccine now determines who is a full citizen and who is not. And some citizens are granted rights that others are deprived of because of their behaviour. The revolutionaries of 1789 had fundamental rights set in stone precisely to prevent governments from tampering with them in times of crisis or exceptional circumstances.”