Fact Check: EU Chief Did NOT Visit Romania To Enforce Compulsory Vaccination, Digital Identity

Fact Check

  • de: Ioana Burtea
Fact Check: EU Chief Did NOT Visit Romania To Enforce Compulsory Vaccination, Digital Identity Other Purpose

Did Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission (EC), visit Romania at the beginning of March 2024 in order to enforce compulsory vaccination and the implementation of a digital identity for citizens that would amount to 24/7 state surveillance? No, that's not true: Von der Leyen took part in a summit organized by the European People's Party (EPP) in Bucharest and announced she was the party's sole candidate for a new term of leadership at the EC.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok by user @goldbook7777777 on March 10, 2024, under the title (translated from Romanian to English by Lead Stories staff) "The purpose of Ursula's visit to Bucharest and WEF." It opened:

(Ursula von der Leyen) is aware she won't get a second term, but she came to Bucharest to make sure that compulsory vaccination will be enforced in the EU. I keep repeating that all of the legislation for 2025 is ready. ... She is the World Economic Forum's darling, so she came to be 100% sure that the digital identity and CBDC will be implemented starting in 2025.

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

Screenshot 2024-03-12 at 14.59.54.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Mar 12 13:02:29 2024 UTC)

Von der Leyen and 11 heads of state in the European Union (EU) gathered for a two-day EPP Congress in Bucharest, on March 6-7, 2024 (archived here). The main purpose was to announce von der Leyen as EPP's sole candidate for a new term as president of the European Commission (archived here). She talked, in an official speech, about fighting illegal migration and human trafficking, the war in Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza, as well as the upcoming EU elections in June 2024 (archived here). She made no mention of mandatory vaccinations or digital identity and there is no proof that any of these will be enforced in the EU by 2025 (archived here).

Lead Stories previously debunked similar conspiracy theories about mandatory vaccinations in Europe, as well as about the WEF's intentions to microchip people and control them via technology. The EU Digital Identity (archived here), which has not yet been launched, will be optional and fully controllable by its users, who will be able to choose which aspects of their identity they want to share with third parties.

  Ioana Burtea

Ioana Burtea has worked in journalism for 15 years. She started her career at Mediafax news agency in Bucharest and has written for DoR magazine for over seven years. Her collaborations include publications like Europe & Me, New Eastern Europe, Balkan Insight and Washington Post. Ioana published pieces on the justice system in Romania, social affairs, politics and personal essays. In 2018,  she became a fellow of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.  In 2021, she received the first prize in the Portrait category at the national Superscrieri journalism awards.

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