The announced delays in the delivery of the Covid-19 vaccines are a disappointment for the EU, and as always in such complex situations, there is no single answer as to why this is happening. The European Commission seems to have struggled to secure the number of vaccines needed for European citizens. EC President, Ursula von der Leyen affirmed that “Europe is determined to contribute to this global common good, but it also means business”, when in fact it seems to have realised too late that business means business for the pharmaceuticals companies as well. By putting the vaccine procurement process through the bureaucratic and political maze of Brussels, the Commission did not proceed in the most transparent way. Recent errors have added an unwelcome unpredictability.
What is the status of the Transparency and Authorisation Mechanism for exports of vaccines? Why is Europe lagging behind and whose fault is it? Can the EU catch up with the UK and the USA in the vaccination game, while also providing transparency and protecting the Single Market and free trade? Why did the EU agree to rely on conventional contract law to develop a new vaccine, without trying to obtain shared licences for vaccine patents? As events unfold, ELF is offering an open space to assess new developments and keep the discussion going.
Claudia Gamon, MEP, Renew Europe Group
Sibilia Quilici, Executive Director, Vaccines Europe
J. Scott Marcus, Senior Fellow, Bruegel
Moderator: Sam Morgan
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