The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament have been calling for an effective global health strategy for a long time. We must wipe out the Covid-19 threat not only from Europe but from the rest of the planet, if we eventually want to leave this terrifying pandemic behind. We call on the EU Commission to finally intensify its work and lead the way to build an effective global health policy.
The S&D co-ordinator in the development committee, Udo Bullmann MEP, said:
“The only way to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic is to eradicate the virus globally. Only when everyone is vaccinated, will we all be protected. While we should step up to ensure a fair and rapid access to vaccination for all EU citizens, the EU Commission should not disregard the global dimensions of this pandemic. It would be a narrow-minded and unforgivable mistake if we focus exclusively on European needs.
“The EU was quick to commit to co-operating with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its Covax programme to make vaccines available to all. But that is only a beginning. The Covax vaccination initiative must be made a top priority.
“We have to discuss patent rights and the expansion of production capacities for the vaccines, in order to enable the Global south to get full access to Covid vaccines. In the European Union we have the capacity and the need to play a constructive role regarding the Covid-19 exceptions proposal under the TRIPS agreement on intellectual property rights with India and South Africa.
“The rules of the World Trade Organisation provide for patents being suspended in exceptional cases with the consent of the member states.
“This is the way to go. Effective global health policy is a key example of whether socially responsible geopolitics can move forward again. Europe must lead the way if we are serious."