In accordance with the principles of “proportionality and reciprocity,” the European Commission proposes to tighten the license to export coronavirus vaccines from member states, but this may lead to the outbreak of a new trade war.
The European Commission proposes to impose a ban on the export of coronavirus vaccines until at least the end of June on a reciprocal basis for target countries that do not provide the 27 vaccines or have a higher vaccination rate than the European Union.
The ban could primarily affect the United Kingdom and the United States,
Provided that it is approved by their heads of state and government at their virtual summit on Thursday and Friday.
Nevertheless, Brussels is taking too many risks with this drastic and controversial move, threatening its reputation as a champion of global free trade and vaccine distribution.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned, along with many European Union diplomats and members of the European Parliament. Among them is Kathleen Van Pribt from Belgium, Commercial Coordinator of the European Union Group for the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.
The European Union purchases 70% of the raw materials for vaccines from other countries, and the European Union production of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines depends on UK suppliers. Have we thought hard about whether we should really start this trade war?
According to the bill submitted Tuesday, member states will take into account several factors before requesting a possible export ban, including the type of raw materials the vaccine country supplies to the European Union and whether the restriction will negatively affect it. Execution of the company’s contract with the European Union. In other words, they can only place a ban on the export of vaccines that do not jeopardize vaccine supplies in the European Union. While member states may propose to impose an export ban after considering these details, the committee will decide so.
According to Politico, the point in the draft allowing the EU to stop exporting to countries that do not produce a vaccine but have a higher vaccination rate or a less severe epidemic situation than the 27 is also controversial. The exception to this is the COVAX program, which provides universal access to the vaccine.
Plus, banning doesn’t do much in addition to creating tension.
There will be no more vaccines in the European Union in the short term, as the seized shipments cannot be used if they are manufactured in a factory that has not been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). This applies, for example, to the 29 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that La Stampa reported discovering at a plant in Italy. These are made at the Halix plant in the Netherlands, and are not on the EMA list – although the agency can quickly correct this ‘bug’.
France supports stricter export rules because, according to an anonymous spokesperson, the European Union cannot be a “useful fool” of the coronavirus pandemic that provides a vaccine while others keep their stocks.
We’ve exported a lot of vaccines, and we obeyed the rules. The same cannot be said of some of our partners
Reuters was quoted as saying, but she said the European Union did not want to be involved in a scapegoat dispute with the United Kingdom. According to the news agency summary, the European Union has approved the export of 43 million doses since the imposition of export controls at the end of January, and the shipment of only 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca to Australia has been banned.