The EPP Group welcomes the European Commission's efforts to restrict the distribution of vaccines leaving Europe to other vaccine-producing countries. "When all over the world, our partners with vaccine production facilities are putting their countries, their population first, Europe cannot be the only one to play by the rules. In the past months, we have sent 9 million vaccines to the UK, but we have received none in return. The criteria should be clear: it is give and take. If vaccine-producing countries don't send vaccines to Europe, they won’t get vaccines from Europe. Our approach should be based on facts, always guided by the principles of proportionality and reciprocity, but we should not be naive", said EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber MEP on Wednesday.
"Nineteen countries in Europe are experiencing increasing infection rates. The urgency is extremely high and we cannot rely only on commercial decisions by vaccine producers for our supplies in Europe. The recent news regarding AstraZeneca stocks of vaccines in Italy shows the extent of AstraZeneca’s unwillingness to be transparent. We urgently need explanations from the company and expect a tough response from the European Commission on this", stressed Weber.
"We must do whatever it takes to keep the promise that by the end of the summer, every European will have the possibility to get the vaccine. The credibility of the European Union and European citizens’ trust in our Institutions are at stake", concluded Weber.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 175 Members from all EU Member States