The EPP Group wants to help developing countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic and massively speed up vaccinations.
"To prevent the rise of dangerous mutations, the entire world population must be vaccinated as quickly as possible. Our help should include emergency aid, i.e. sending equipment to produce high-volume oxygen and medical staff, increasing vaccine delivery, strengthening the World Health Organisation (WHO) and transferring technology", said Peter Liese MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on health issues, ahead of the debate in the European Parliament on the waiver of patents for COVID-19 vaccines.
The EPP Group calls on the United States to end its de facto export ban. "Countries that produce vaccines must also share them. So far, the US has been stocking vaccines and has hardly exported any of them at all, whereas the EU has exported around 200 million doses across the world, more than half of all vaccines produced in the EU. The US must first start exporting both vaccines and vaccine production material. Only then can we start discussing other proposals", said Christophe Hansen MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on International Trade.
For the EPP Group it is crucial that investments in vaccine production and research continue. "The bottleneck is not first of all patents, but production. We will need the innovation capacity of researchers and pharma companies in the years to come. If we strip European researchers of their intellectual property, it will set Europe back as a technology leader in this sector. Such a move will backfire", explained Axel Voss MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on Legal Affairs.
"If Europe waiving patents results in Russia and China producing European technology and selling it expensively to developing countries, while the developing countries themselves do not have the technology to produce it themselves, then this doesn’t solve any problem at all", stressed Hansen.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States