Fact Check: Romanian PM Did NOT Meet With Ursula Von Der Leyen To Plan Compulsory Vaccination

Fact Check

  • de: Jurnaliștii Lead Stories
Fact Check: Romanian PM Did NOT Meet With Ursula Von Der Leyen To Plan Compulsory Vaccination No Forced Jab

Did Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu meet European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to discuss enforcing a vaccination campaign? No, that's not true: Ciolacu met von der Leyen to discuss increasing Romania's budget deficit, the top priority of the visit, Romania's role in helping Ukraine, and the EU's resilience and recovery plan for Romania. According to official statements, there was no talk of an enforced vaccination campaign on the agenda.

The claim originated from a video published by user www.caporalo.it (archived here), on September 8, 2023, with the following message (translated from Romanian to English by Lead Stories Staff):

September will be a month with unpleasant surprises for Romanians!

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-09-12 at 11.24.49.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Sep 12 08:01:37 2023 UTC)

On September 1st, 2923 Romanian Prime Minister, Marcel Ciolacu, completed an official visit to Brussels, where he met European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, as well as Charles Michel, President of the European Council. The main reason for the visit was to increase Romania's deficit budget.

Romania promised to keep its deficit at 4,4% of GDP. But Ciolacu, a newly appointed PM, in a rotating coalition government, aims to raise it to 5,5%, arguing that Romania's aid to Ukraine will not allow the country to adhere to the former goal. Part of it also relates to the government's desire to make policy changes around taxation. Romania's aim is to still receive the allocated EU funds, while increasing the budget deficit quota, with negotiations currently taking place.

According to Ciolacu's press briefing following the meeting, the main topics on the agenda revolved around budgetary issues, the EU's recovery and resilience plan for Romania, and the war in Ukraine.

Also on September 1st, 2023, the European Commission authorized the Comirnaty XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine, developed by BioNTech-Pfizer, targeting the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant of COVID-19, after approval was recommended by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The EU has no authority to mandate vaccines on independent EU member states, these are merely recommended, depending on the case. Additionally, on August 3rd, 2023 a national information and awareness campaign on the importance of vaccination started, the Ministry of Health announced in a press release. The campaign aims to increase the public's interest in immunization, given that during the COVID-19 pandemic, confidence in vaccination decreased, said the Minister of Health, Alexandru Rafila. There is no evidence that a forced vaccination effort will be carried out.

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