President von der Leyen at the World Health Summit

CC-BY-4.0: © European Union 2020 – Source: EP"CC-BY-4.0: © European Union 2020 – Source: EP"

On Sunday, 25 October, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, gave a speech at the online World Health Summit 2020. In her speech, President von der Leyen emphasised the importance of global cooperation in health matters: “More than at any point in human history, the health of one country directly affects that of another. And cross-border viruses need cross-border responses – especially as we move into the next phase of this pandemic. The dramatic spikes in recent weeks across the world and especially here in Europe reflect a picture that is getting worse by the day. But while the virus is back stronger than ever, our knowledge and experience of what we need to do is also much better than before.” As one of the patrons of the World Health Summit, President von der Leyen set out the three critical areas of cooperation in the fight against the coronavirus crisis: coordination across borders, the supply of equipment, and support for people and the economy. She underlined that the EU is ready to assume leadership in global health matters. Looking to the future, she added: “For the longer term, I believe it is time for the world to change its mindset on health. We need to move away from looking after our health only through clinical, individual outcomes. In today’s world, we need to look after our health by looking after our planet, our wellbeing and our sustainable development. And we need to do it together – through global health cooperation and not through global health competition. You can count on Europe for in the difficult period ahead and in the decade that follows.” You can watch back and read the full speech online.