Germany’s two-faced vaccine policy

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Angela Merkel (V4 Agency)

By: V4 Agency

They preach water and drink wine. By now, it’s become clear that the EU was unable to order enough vaccines to meet demand by its member states. Against this backdrop, it is rather interesting that Angela Merkel has personally blocked the member states’ initiative to import the vaccine independently, while Germany had orderd 30 million doses.

In the spirit of solidarity, Angela Merkel has torpedoed the initiative of four member states affected by the pandemic, who were planning to order the vaccines bypassing the EU’s bureaucracy. Back then the German Chancellor argued that, in order to promote solidarity within the EU, the central task of importing the vaccines should be delegated within the Commission’s remit.

Merkel beavatkozott, így most nincs elég vakcina
Merkel’s intervention creates vaccine shortages

Angela Merkel may have personally intervened to block efforts by the member states’ health ministers to secure bigger vaccine supplies,…

To date, many have suggested that the EC’s bureaucratic structure and lengthy authorisation processes are not well suited to the task. This may be one of the reasons why Germany has decided to order 30 million vaccine doses and trade with additional companies to import other vaccines, bypassing the Commission and the principle of solidarity cited above.

Although the central procurement did prove to be sluggish, everything happened through a transparent system offering significantly lower prices and an organised distribution mechanism. Ursula von der Leyen specifically asked member states not to conduct independent negotiations with vaccine manufacturers, which Germany had openly violated with its purchase.

It is unclear at this point whether any proceedings will be launched against Germany, a question that emerged – and was left unanswered – by the EC chief’s spokesperson at his press briefing.

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