New alliances for new solutions: President von der Leyen at the Davos Agenda Week 2021

This morning, the President von der Leyen delivered a special address at the Davos Agenda Week 2021 during a session on the ‘State of the world’, via videoconference. The President urged that “we must learn from this crisis.” She emphasised: “We have spoken a lot about the links between biodiversity loss and COVID. Now we must move to action. We will protect at least 30% of land and sea here in Europe. We are ready to broker the same ambition at global level, at the next UN Biodiversity Summit in Kunming. This will have to be like COP21 was for climate. Because we need a Paris-style agreement for biodiversity.” Speaking about digitalisation and the storming of the U.S. Capitol, President von der Leyen said: “We must address the darker sides of the digital world. We must nurture our democracy every day, and defend our institutions against the corrosive power of hate speech, disinformation, fake news and incitement to violence.” On the business model of online platforms, the President said: “It has an impact not only on free and fair competition, but also on our democracies, our security and on the quality of our information. We need to contain this immense power of the big digital companies. We want it clearly laid down that internet companies take responsibility for the manner in which they disseminate, promote and remove content.” Speaking to participants from around the globe, Ursula von der Leyen recalled the achievement that was producing the first COVID-19 vaccine in just a few months. Now, she said, it is time to deliver: Europe invested billions to help develop the world‘s first COVID-19 vaccines. To create a truly global common good. And now, the companies must deliver. They must honour their obligations. This is why we will set up a vaccine export transparency mechanism. Europe is determined to contribute. But it also means business.” The President notably called for new alliances between public and private partners to tackle the many global challenges we face: “It is only by working together – across borders and across sectors – that we can tackle our global challenges. No private company or public authority can do it alone. We need this new public-private approach to detect earlier, develop together and manufacture faster at scale. This is not just true for pandemics or health. It is true for all major societal challenges. New alliances for new solutions. This is what we will work for.” The speech is available online in English and soon in French and German. You can watch it here