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On the Agenda – How can the EU fix the vaccines situation?


11 Feb 2021 14:00 to 15:00




Health & Consumers

Event Description

The announced delays in the delivery of the Covid-19 vaccines are a heavy blow to 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 (partially) failed in securing the desired number of vaccines 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 a very transparent or cost-effective waywhich angered member states, the European Parliament, and European citizens.  

 To fix this, the Commission and some member states are now proposing to restrict and hold back exports of vaccines. But what would the Vaccine Export Transparency Mechanism mean for the principle of free market? Is the EU losing the vaccine fight in the Western Balkans, and even in some EU countries (i.e. Hungary), which are opting and accepting offers of the Sinovac vaccines from China or the Sputnik V from Russia 

Considering the most current events, especially the AstraZeneca debacle, why did the EU accept to rely on conventional contract law to develop a new vaccine, without trying to obtain shared licences for vaccine patentsWhy is Europe lagging behind and whose fault is it? The EU, the member states or the pharmaceutical companies? Can the EU catch up with the UK and the USA in the vaccination game, while also protecting the Single Market and free trade?  

Speakers include
Claudia Gamon, MEP, Renew Europe Group
Sibilia Quilici, Executive Director, Vaccines Europe
J. Scott Marcus, Senior Fellow, Bruegel

On the Agenda is a series of webinars organised by the European Liberal Forum where renowned speakers debate the hottest topics on – and off – the leaders’ agenda, always with a liberal take. Stay on the pulse and discover more exciting topics.