Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, with the view from Europe:
Why is Italy blocking a shipment of vaccines to Australia?
It was a somewhat surprising move, I have to confess. But I think it has to be seen in the light of the fact that the vaccine situation and the COVID situation is far more difficult in Europe than in Australia at the moment. Otherwise, Europe is dependent upon the imports of vaccines in the years to come.
What is the Conference on the Future of Europe?
Well, this is a rather far-reaching scheme that was launched by President Macron a couple of years ago. But the launch of it has been stalled by sort of internal institutional fighting in Brussels between the parliament, the council and the commission. It is supposed to be a sort of free enterprise of dialog with the citizens of Europe on the direction of the European Union to be producing a result by the spring of 2022, which happens also to be by pure coincidence, when France has the presidency of the European Union.