2 February 2021
On behalf of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) in the European Parliament, ECR Co-Chairmen Ryszard Legutko and Raffaele Fitto call for the European Parliament to hold the Commission to account over the management of its vaccination strategy. Specifically, the ECR Group demands greater transparency from the Commission regarding the contracts negotiated, its export authorisation scheme, and its public communication strategy. The opaqueness of the Commission’s decision-making on these issues, which fundamentally affect all European citizens, must urgently be addressed.
First, the European Commission signed contracts with eight manufacturers for a total of approximately 2 billion doses, the details of which were not fully disclosed to the public.
Then, faced with vaccine shortages, President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the EU would trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol in an attempt to block COVID-19 vaccine exports from the Union. Although the European Commission subsequently reversed its decision, the announcement had already sparked significant criticism on both sides of the Irish border, putting the bloc’s relationship with the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland under considerable strain.
Rather than offering public explanations, President von der Leyen chose to hold closed-door meetings with some, but not all, of the European Parliament’s political groups.
The ECR Group firmly condemns this behaviour and demands that the Commission gives a comprehensive account of its vaccination strategy management during the Parliament’s plenary session in Brussels next week.
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