E.U-Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is tightening the pace towards Great Britain and the United States in the dispute over the delivery failures of the British-Swedish vaccine manufacturer Astra-Zeneca (AZ). “If the situation does not change, we will think about making exports to vaccine-producing countries dependent on the degree of their own openness,” said von der Leyen in Brussels on Wednesday. It left open whether this threat could amount to a general ban on exports for vaccines manufactured in the EU.
The export from the EU must be based on reciprocity and proportionality, said von der Leyen with a view to the American export ban on Covid vaccine and the stagnant AZ deliveries to the EU. “Openness is not a one-way street,” said the head of the commission. This is a question of fairness. The Commission will also consider whether “exports to countries that have higher vaccination rates than we do are proportionate”. This threat also alludes to Britain and the United States. According to the EU Commission, at least 41 million doses of corona vaccine have been exported to 33 countries from the EU since February 1, although there is no vaccine in the EU itself and vaccinations are only making slow progress. That can hardly be explained to the citizens, said von der Leyen.
“Are in the crisis of this century”
She wanted to present her thoughts to the EU heads of state and government at their video conference next week, said von der Leyen. She left it open whether she wants to go up to a complete export ban. But she alluded to the fact that the EU had already issued such a general ban during the oil crisis in the 1970s. “And we are in the crisis of this century.”