Protests erupted across the bloc over the weekend which saw police in Brussels use tear gas to disperse protestors. Due to the introduction of Covid restrictions and in some cases, mandatory vaccination in states such as Austria, EU citizens have expressed their outrage. With the UK now out of the EU, Express.co.uk readers expressed their relief at having left the bloc.
Commenting on the story, Pudsey 57 said: “Glad I am out of it, the EU are autocratic.”
Whitworth1 added: “Don’t agree with antivaxxers but amused the EU has again shown its underlying contempt of the people.”
A third added: “Imagine what our media and left-wing would be saying if our government was suppressing demonstrators with water cannons and tear gas?
“They need to open their eyes and see what’s going on in EU land.
“It’s a complete mess on many fronts.
“We should be immensely grateful to the Leave voters and government.”
Austria announced a plan make vaccines compulsory from February 1, 2022.
The government also announced a nationwide lockdown just days after an attempted lockdown for those who are unvaccinated.
JUST IN: ‘Deeply irresponsible’ EU shamed for gloating about UK’s trade issues
She said: “We have the vaccines, the life-saving vaccines, but they are not being used adequately everywhere.
“And this costs. This is an enormous health cost coming along.
“One-third of the European population is not vaccinated … not each and every one can be vaccinated – children, for example, or people with special medical conditions – but the vast majority could.
“How we can encourage and potentially think about mandatory vaccination within the European Union, this needs discussion.
“This needs a common approach, but it is a discussion that I think has to be met.”
Although Ms von der Leyen spoke of the need for compulsory vaccinations, the EU does not have the power to mandate health policy for member states.
EU member states hold primary competency for delivering and organisation health services and medical care.
The EU, therefore, can only complement a member state’s policy.