Conservatives in the European Parliament today blocked attempts by The Left to ensure the EU draws useful and constructive lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic and better prepares for future similar events.

Instead of learning from the catastrophe, the European Parliament today voted through a self-congratulatory report on the Covid-19 crisis by Spanish right-wing MEP Dolores Montserrat. 

The pandemic was one of the biggest disasters of our time. More than 6.5 million people are confirmed to have died in less than three years, and the pandemic had an impact on every aspect of our lives.  

In an unprecedented crisis and in a crucial moment to build trust with people, the EU responded with a lack of transparency on vaccine contracts and a refusal to support a real TRIPS waiver, failing to ensure vaccine equality worldwide. 

A European Ombudsman inquiry stated that the refusal to publish the text messages between the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen and the Pfizer CEO is maladministration. Yet, today’s European Parliament text totally ignores this issue.

Left MEP Kateřina Konečná (Komunistická strana Čech a Moravy, Czechia) commented on the vote:

“A horrible and shameful vote. No transparency, zero self-reflection regarding contract negotiations and the behaviour of some pharmaceutical companies. A tragic assessment of the current state of intellectual property rights protection, when colleagues decided to pretend that everything is in the best order and the EU helped the world. The opposite is obviously true. Whoever voted for this report probably experienced a different pandemic than me and should be ashamed, because it is helping the pharmaceutical companies.”

Left MEP Marc Botenga (PTB, Belgium) declared:

“This report fully protects the interests of Big pharma. It strongly supports intellectual property, while patents significantly limit access to vaccines and medication. Thanks to the mobilisation, it at least mentions the need for public pharmaceutical infrastructure, promoting open science and animated by the public interest. But here as well, supporters of Big Pharma in the European Parliament are delaying action instead of acting now.”


Related Meps

Marc Botenga

Parti du Travail de Belgique / Partij van de Arbeid van België

Healthcare and medical products & International solidarity & Vaccine Equality ·

Parliament votes through positive compulsory licensing rules, but global solidarity lacking

Employment and workers' rights & Feminism & Right to health ·

End stigma: The Left introduces menstrual leave policy, Parliament must follow

Employment and workers' rights & Right to health & Rights & liberties ·

A victory for workers: EU agrees strong legislation to protect workers from asbestos