The Left group in the European Parliament wrote to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen inviting her to attend their group meeting tomorrow to answer questions about the EU’s botched Covid-19 vaccination drive.

The Commission has been avoiding Parliament and public scrutiny over the contracts it has signed with pharmaceutical companies, resisting the publication of the contracts and refusing to lift Intellectual Property Rights to ramp up production.

Last night it emerged that von der Leyen has agreed to appear at closed-door meetings with some groups in the European Parliament while excluding others and still avoiding open scrutiny.

The Left’s Co-President Manon Aubry criticised the Commission’s anti-democratic move:

“It is unacceptable that the Commission is hiding from EU citizens instead of assuming real leadership. A pandemic is raging causing tremendous suffering to citizens. This is the opposite of what we need in times of crisis.

“The Commission thinks that a divide-and-conquer approach will let it off the hook but people have been paying attention and we will continue to be their voice. Trust in the Commission is at an all-time low and it will continue to dip for as long as the EU does not change its approach of putting the profits of multinationals above the health of citizens.

“We demand that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen comes before the full House and answers questions about the emerging vaccine scandal. We need urgent solutions to this big mess, passing through taking over vaccines’ production to protect as many people within the shortest period.”

Co-President Martin Schirdewan said he expects that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attends the Left’s group meeting tomorrow:

“Again, von der Leyen is pursuing closed-door meetings and lack of transparency over responsible leadership and democratic scrutiny. We expect that she comes before the Left as soon as possible to answer our questions about the unfolding vaccine fiasco.

“The crisis in the EU is growing, with families struggling to make ends meet and businesses closing down, yet the Commission continues to adopt a passive approach and refusing accountability of any sort.

“This shameful situation was expected the moment the Commission gave control over the Covid-19 response to pharmaceutical companies by refusing to make the vaccines a public good. The Commission must immediately wave Intellectual Property Rights and scale-up production through compulsory licenses. There is still time to act to avoid more deaths and we expect von der Leyen to listen to our proposals.”

Sign the European Citizens Initiative Right to Cure calling on the Commission to make pandemic treatments and cures a public good. If 1 million signatures gathered by February 2022 this year the Commission would be legally obliged to take action. Learn more:

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