EU vaccine contracts must be made public
The Commission’s decision to only allow MEPs to read the redacted CureVac Covid-19 vaccines contract in a highly-secure room is unacceptable and reveals the opacity of the EU, according to Left MEPs. They demand that the Commission make public all vaccines-supply contracts it has signed with pharmaceutical companies for public scrutiny.
There are many questions about the terms of the contract, including the price citizens are being made to pay for the vaccines as well as the liability the companies have assumed. For months, Left MEPs have demanded that the contracts be made public, with the Commission refusing to budge. It has now allowed only partial access and to only one of the contracts.
Manon Aubry, Co-President of the Left group in the European Parliament, said the decision for partial access is not enough:
“Transparency is not optional, it is a fundamental right. Every MEP must be allowed to read the contracts for all vaccines, whenever they want and without censorship.
“Commission President Von der Leyen cannot negotiate the contract terms on her own and refuse any accountability!
“Elected members of the European Parliament need to have access to all relevant information in order to evaluate the Commission’s choices. This is the only way to restore trust and to respond to the legitimate concerns of European citizens.”
Left Co-President Martin Schirdewan said taxpayers must not be made to pay twice for the vaccines:
“European taxpayers have paid millions of euros into research for Covid-19 treatments and cures. Citizens have the right to know how much more they are being made to pay to the pharmaceutical companies making a profit from this pandemic.
“MEPs must have unfettered access to the vaccine contracts to understand whether the Commission negotiated them in the public interest or on behalf of private lobbies.
“President Von der Leyen had promised a vaccine that is universal and a common good. What happened is the opposite, with the pharmaceutical companies holding on to Intellectual Property Rights while not being able to produce enough vaccines to meet demand. The status quo is unacceptable.”
The Left group today wrote a letter to the President of the European Parliament on this topic.
We forced the Commission to backtrack and publish the CureVac vaccine contract.
Yet, the text is heavily censored. This is unacceptable! Why is the Commission afraid of democratic scrutiny?
— The Left in the European Parliament (@Left_EU) January 19, 2021