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The Recap: Drugs, Defence & Denunciations

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EU to ease restrictions for vaccinated travellers from non-EU countries: The 27 Members States of the European Union want to reopen their borders to tourists from outside the EU if they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

European Commission defends compulsory licences over patent removal: The European Commission defended using compulsory licences rather than lifting patents on Covid-19 vaccines on Wednesday, calling the United States’ stance in favour of the latter “a nice media stunt.”

Right-wing extremist, possible terrorist, yet still in the Army: In the search for an armed man hiding from police after taking weapons from a military base and making threats against virologist Marc Van Ranst, questions are being asked about the man’s background, his expressed opinions and how he has been allowed to continue in the military with access to weapons.

Belgium seeks to encourage generic drugs with new prescription reimbursement structure: The federal government has decided to increase the percentage by which generic drugs will be reimbursed, Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit) told the House Health Committee on Tuesday.

Brussels residents can already print a vaccination certificate: Residents of the Brussels region can now print a copy of a certificate of vaccination, while the planned European Digital Green Certificate is still in preparation.

‘Not sufficiently bilingual’: Brussels’ French-speaking schools struggle to achieve Dutch fluency: Both the Flemish and French-speaking education systems give pupils the opportunity to learn Dutch, French, and English from a certain age, and in some cases, taking classes in all three languages is mandatory.

Forty-nine refugees rescued off the Belgian coast: A boat with 49 refugees on board got into trouble off the western coast of Belgium near Oostduinkerke on Wednesday morning, said Koksijde mayor Marc Vanden Bussche (Open Vld), who indicated this was a recurring problem.

Ostend will again use a registration system for its most popular beaches: Like last summer, Ostend will again implement a registration system to manage the influx of tourists to its three most popular beaches.

Union denounces store closures, says businesses are skirting the law: Two more WE fashion shops have closed in recent days, and the union that represents private-sector employees says the Dutch clothing chain is deliberately skirting the law regarding negotiating with workers who are laid off as a result.

Symbolic actions taken in Liège and Brussels to denounce the commodification of health care: A few days ahead of the G20 World Summit on Health, which will be held in Rome on 21 May, several symbolic actions have been organised in Belgium to denounce the commodification of vaccines and health care.

European car sales still undermined by pandemic: European car sales rebounded in April but remained at a low level, according to figures released Wednesday by carmakers.

The Brussels Times