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  • commitment needs to be kept and contracts are binding.

  • Advance purchase agreements need to be respected.

  • Today we have developed a system that will allow us to know whether vaccines are being exported from the U.

  • This increased transparency will also come with the responsibility for the EU to authorize with our member states these vaccine exports.

  • Asti.

  • European public clamors for faster vaccination The commission is laying down the law to big farmer.

  • It's opening up the possibility of banning vaccine exports from Europe on it's creating a crisis in Ireland.

  • It seemed barely imaginable a week ago on Now produces accusations of you protectionism.

  • It goes against the official message.

  • It goes against the the message of openness and international cooperation that the commission and you always insist on.

  • It's a very dangerous moment because one does not know the repercussions of that.

  • After all, the vaccine relies on a very complex global supply chain.

  • So if the EU does this to exports from off the final product, we don't know about the inputs and components that come from all over the world.

  • The politics has become very difficult almost overnight.

  • Last 23 days in Portugal and Spain, cases are rising steeply as the new British or Be 1 17 co vid variant spreads.

  • The French government is also very worried.

  • Has new restrictions come in across the continent?

  • The commission put its deal with AstraZeneca into the spotlight today, publishing its contract with the firm.

  • This is the latest step really in in a huge battle between the European Commission and AstraZeneca CEO or the whole company.

  • Really, Earlier this week, the AstraZeneca CEO give us quite explosive interview in which he started making lots of allegations about things that were in the contracts.

  • So the commission was like, Well, you know, let's see the receipts.

  • Let's show up the people What what's actually in these contracts theory?

  • You points out that in the contract, AstraZeneca's plants are defined as being within the EU in terms of where you money is spent on.

  • The company commits not to let any prior agreement, for example, with the UK get in the way of its obligations to the EU.

  • However, the deal also says that the initial you doses will be made in the EU, and that paragraph doesn't define a Zed's UK factories is such What's more The whole document is littered with the phrase best reasonable efforts, which the company, which plans to deliver 17 million doses to the U in February, says it's making.

  • No one expects this to come to court.

  • It would take too long to resolve.

  • What the EU is trying to do.

  • Instead is ramp up pressure on AstraZeneca to deliver more quickly.

  • Because time is of the essence.

  • There's the B 1 17 co vid variants spreads across Europe.

  • It's about to enter a fresh public health on political crisis.

  • I think the commission is really trying to show that they're taking a very serious hardline against this pharma company.

  • And so, you know, the commission is really trying to say, you know, sure, we don't have to be, you know, Europe first, but we're definitely not going to be Europe's second.

  • And so they're implementing this expert control to go back and say, Okay, you have to meet our orders first.

  • You cannot go back on this contract and you need to supply that you just like you said you would by April or May.

  • Large scale deliveries off several types of vaccines should be underway in the U But in the months before that happens, the union will face deep strains as national governments take steps to counter.

  • Co vid on the commission comes under fire.

  • There was a lot of complacency.

  • There was too much bureaucracy.

  • It hits right at the soft spots of Of what do You is about?

  • So it is.

  • I think it is very serious, and I think it will lead to reforms.

  • I hope it will lead to reforms, faster decision making, more political authority over the bureaucracy, the administration, um, and and so on.

  • One criticism of the EU is that it's been too slow to license thes vital vaccines.

  • The AstraZeneca one only got the green light today in coming weeks.

  • Johnson and Johnson and Novavax should follow, but they're too.

  • They could be playing catch up with the UK.

  • Okay, now discuss this further.

  • I'm joined by Spain's foreign minister, Arancha Gonzalez.

  • Liar Minister, Thank you so much for joining us from Madrid.

  • This is a mess.

  • Isn't it?

  • A total calamity caused by the European Commission's slowness over getting the vaccine on?

  • You're trying to blame it on the UK Andi UK business.

  • No, I I disagree with this.

  • We're in a situation where with an incredible public private effort, the ingenuity off scientists, the power off the pharmaceutical companies on a lot of financing from governments with managed to do something that is unthinkable, which is to develop a vaccine in one year.

  • But what we also have done is, uh, negotiate contracts with pharmaceutical companies.

  • Most of them are doing, uh, their deliveries.

  • They're doing this on time, and they're following the agreements that have been signed and some have not.

  • And this is what is at the stake in this precise at this precise moment is the importance that pharmaceutical companies deliver on the engagements they've taken.

  • Visa be the European governments is no less.

  • No more than that.

  • But it has to be resolved.

  • Uh, it's not against countries or against, uh, exporting or controlling Exports is including transparency, so that we make sure that pharmaceutical companies, uh, most of which, by the way, are delivering on time, is to make sure that all of them do on the owner the commitments that they've taken visibly European governments.

  • But it's literally an export ban that would affect off the neighboring you countries, neighboring countries to the EU, it would affect the U.

  • K specifically on.

  • It may be a commercial spat you have with AstraZeneca, but why then embargo the United Kingdom as a whole?

  • No, I don't think the measures taken today embargo any country.

  • What they impose is on pharmaceutical companies.

  • That would be no, no.

  • What it does is introduced transparency over exports off pharmaceutical companies that export from the European Union a za measure as a mechanism to make sure that pharmaceutical companies, uh, deliver under the commitments they've taken visibly the you.

  • It's not a hostile measure against any off our neighbors or any third country, by the way, it makes very clear rules for what happens when, UH, the contracts they're not respected on.

  • It exempts a huge amount of cases, including, UH, deliveries to the World Health Organization Toko Box to low and middle income countries.

  • So it's not ah, hostile measure.

  • But a country that have signed a contract and doesn't get the contract to be honored well, well.

  • The United Kingdom signed contracts for fighter by on tech vaccine, which could now be embargoed.

  • Your country.

  • There's manufacturing of the new Johnson and Johnson vaccine in Barcelona, we understand would Spain and stop the export of orders to the United Kingdom Under this these sorts of measures, uh, Spain has no absolutely no intention off halting exports off any pharmaceutical company that is honoring its commitment.

  • Visibility you.

  • Why should the Spain would do that?

  • We are unopened economy.

  • We're in open country.

  • But we're a country that wants the contracts that the country signs to be honored.

  • It's as simple as this.

  • So new pharmaceutical company that is respecting its contract has anything to fear from any European governments, certainly not from the Spanish government that has an excellent relation, by the way, with pharmaceutical companies that are a big part of our in own industrial landscape.

  • Having your colleagues just got this wrong.

  • You talk about vaccine hijacking, starting a vaccine war, some of your colleagues in the commission and in in the other European countries.

  • But the fact is, with AstraZeneca in particular, the United Kingdom government had a huge role in bringing to AstraZeneca with Oxford University on the condition of that was 100 million doses upfront for United Kingdom on.

  • That's the deal on day.

  • European Union is not accepting the fact that the UK has first dibs on that vaccine supply quite naturally.

  • No.

  • The European Union has no qualms about the contract that the UK has negotiated with AstraZeneca on it.

  • Wishes, uh, the UK Well, in accessing the vaccine that it has negotiated on, uh, it has agreed to with AstraZeneca.

  • This is not the question.

  • The question is the contract that European countries have signed with AstraZeneca.

  • Can I ask you a question today?

  • So what we're saying, what we're saying is that we want exactly the same rules to apply to Europe.

  • What about Northern Ireland?

  • This has not been a particular glorious moment of European commission.

  • You turn this accidental.

  • They say invocation of article 16, 1 of the most sensitive parts of the Brexit deal.

  • Well, I understand this is what I hear, uh, from the European Commission that there was an accident.

  • The accident or the mishap has been repaired on.

  • I think this is important.

  • But again, uh, this isnot ah, hostile act against third countries or territories.

  • This is the mechanism off transparency that the U needs to ensure.

  • Ah, particular pharmaceutical company today honors its commitment.

  • That simple is that Minister Thanks very much for joining us tonight.

commitment needs to be kept and contracts are binding.

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EU vaccine row: How did we get here? - BBC Newsnight

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/30
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