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Ursula von der Leyen speaks about creating a “truly global common good”

When a politician says the words “common good” it is usually with a very specific meaning, and this use of the phrase by Ms von der Leyen is no exception:

“The EU vows to force firms to declare what vaccines are being exported to the UK as Ursula von der Leyen says she ‘means business’ about getting bloc’s ‘fair share’ – despite warnings a blockade to help shambolic rollout could ‘poison’ relations”, the Daily Mail reports.

Ursula von der Leyen today vowed to make firms declare what vaccines they are exporting to the UK as she scrambled to contain a backlash at the EU’s shambolic rollout.

The commission president said a ‘transparency mechanism’ is being introduced as she insisted that the bloc ‘means business’ about getting its fair share of supplies.

The sabre-rattling from Brussels, which comes amid growing chaos and protests across the continent, has incensed senior MPs, with warnings that the EU could ‘poison’ relations for a generation if it blocks some of the 40million Pfizer doses the UK has bought ‘legally and fairly’.

But “Is the EU to blame for AstraZeneca’s vaccine shortage?” asks Robert Peston in the Spectator.

Short answer: yes.

The important difference between AstraZeneca’s relationship with the UK and its relationship with the EU – and the reason it has fallen behind schedule on around 50m vaccine doses promised to the bloc – is that the UK agreed its deal with AstraZeneca a full three months before the EU did. This gave AstraZeneca an extra three months to sort out manufacturing and supply problems relating to the UK contract (there were plenty of problems).

Here is the important timeline. In May AstraZeneca reached an agreement with Oxford and the UK government to make and supply the vaccine. In fact, Oxford had already started work on the supply chain.

The following month AstraZeneca reached a preliminary agreement with Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy, a group known as the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance, based on its agreement with the UK. That announcement was on 13 June.

But the EU then insisted that the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance could not formalise the deal, and the European Commission took over the contract negotiations on behalf of the whole EU. So there were another two months of talks and the contract was not signed until the end of August.

What is frustrating for AstraZeneca is that the extra talks with the European Commission led to no material changes to the contract, but this wasted time that could have been spent making arrangements to manufacture the vaccine with partner sites. The yield at these EU partner sites has been lower than expected.

UPDATE: It’s hotting up: The Daily Mail reports, “Now EU wants our vaccines: Brussels demands Covid jabs made in Britain are sent to EUROPE as one lab warns banning exports from the bloc will mean NO more doses are made”

15 comments to Ursula von der Leyen speaks about creating a “truly global common good”

  • Mr Ed

    ‘Inclusive Vaccine Alliance’ ‘IVA’ (also the Spanish, Italian and Portuguese abbreviation for VAT – Value Added Tax, a fiendishly complicated form of sales tax for our New World friends).

    So does this make the UK the ‘Exclusive Vaccine Axis’ ‘EVA’ for short?

  • djm

    Which would explain the (welcome) silence from the bought & paid for the EU shills in the media

  • bobby b

    ” . . . fair share . . . ”

    ” . . . equity . . .”

    There’s a new vocabulary being written even as we watch.

  • Katy Hibbert

    When Peston half acknowledges that the EU may have got it wrong, you know they’ve well and truly f*cked up.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    A recent op-ed piece by Ross Clark of the ‘Daily Express’ had the following interesting and highly relevant nugget of information:

    “The EU failed to foresee that the Pfizer vaccine would be the first to prove its efficacy, and didn’t place firm orders until November, after the results of phase 3 trials. Anyone might have made that error – Britain, after all, failed to pre-order any stocks of the Moderna vaccine, the second to prove its effectiveness.

    But what happened next is deeply disturbing.

    After ordering 300 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the EU was offered 500 million more. Astonishingly it rejected them – on the basis that it didn’t want Pfizer jabs to undermine the market of the vaccine from French firm Sanofi, of which it has ordered 300 million doses.

    Yet the Sanofi jab is unlikely to be approved before the end of the year. In other words, EU citizens are being deprived of a potentially life-saving vaccine all because the EU wanted to protect the market for a French drugs company.

    It is pure politics: the Pfizer shot was developed by Germany’s BioNTech, so it was a case of trying to divvy up the market between its two largest member states – forgetting that the health of millions of its citizens was at stake.”

    Now … given the action that was taken against Russia in response to the Novichok attack in Salisbury which resulted in the death of one person and grave illness for three other people, what would be an ‘appropriate and proportionate’ UK response to action by the EU to impede the supply to the UK of vaccines ordered months ago, potentially putting thousands of UK lives at risk?

  • llamas

    France and Germany having a p*ssing contest while millions of Europeans suffer? The first time ever, surely . . . . .



  • Phil B

    But, of course, the vaccine will be double plus ungood until the magic fairy dust of bureaucracy is sprinkled on it. Only then can it be issued with the blessings of the bureaucrats. Surely more deaths are a small price to pay for keeping the bureaucrats in power and working their magic?

    @Zerren Yeoville – the same thing happened with AIDS testing. France refused to use the eeeeeevil American developed tests and insisted on developing their own French version. The delay resulted in many more infections than would have been the case if the infected men were diagnosed earlier.

  • Dr.Caligari

    Sorry my english and sorry, If you already know it, but:
    The event is even worser. The German minister for health has tried to make a deal with the pharma industry, but the head of the federal gouverment have cancelt it. He has to exuse for this. Only the EU should be able to make such deals.

    For this reasone, Germany don’t have enough vaccine. The going into a vaccine crises.

    Like all Socialistic systems, the EU search the causes of theys shortcommings in the bad influence of foreignt forces.
    Look at old East-German propaganda about a bad harvest: They reelly said that evil American bombers send Kartofelkäfer (“Colorado potato beetle” ?) to the fields. The sad history repeat itself. At least, it woudl be tragicomic if just I would not get pained of it.

    Honestly, I start to hate my one home…

    I wish the English good luck with the Brexti. They prove that the EU is not without alternative and that there are other ways of self-government.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    The article in Bild concerning the letter to the President of the EU Commission by the Health Ministers of Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands was very interesting, Dr Caligari. I urge everyone to take a look at it.

    I would not call it anything as dramatic as a “smoking gun”. We already knew that the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance had ceded control of the negotiations with Astra Zeneca to the EU Commission, so a letter that formally handed over responsibility to the Commission had to exist.

    But Bild has got a scoop nonetheless. The way that the health ministers threw away the prize that was in their grasp, and were obliged to act repentant for having tried to acquire the vaccine without the backing of the EU, is likely to infuriate the public in those four countries. And with the publication of this letter, there can be no denial from the Commission that the ball was in their court from that moment onwards.

    A couple of quotes:

    Unfortunately, the parallel approach of the Alliance caused concerns. Therefore we believe that it is of utmost importance to have a common single and joint approach towards the various pharmaceutical companies, also with regard to the incorporation of other Member States in the process. We also agree consider that speed is of the essence in this case.

    So we deem it very useful if the COM takes the lead in this process.

    The partners of the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance have not started negotiations on the funding agreement of Astra Zeneca so far. We would very much welcome if the COM were to take forward these negotiations.

    The two Bild journalists make the following point:

    What is striking: in contrast to the present claim by the EU, the chancellery, and Spahn, the letter at no point concerns negotiating good prices for the vaccine or preventing any “vaccine nationalism”. In contrast to the present portrayal of the matter, such considerations apparently played no role in the handing over to the EU.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Your link about the GDR attempting to claim that the Colorado Beetle infestation was a deliberate American plot was interesting in a different way. I remember seeing posters warning about those beetles in country areas when I was a child.

  • staghounds


    Unless they are sending the Garde Republicaine through the tunnel, it’s pencil-rattling.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Katy, yes, the pro-Remain voices in the media aren’t even trying to conceal how shambolic the EU has been in this.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes the European Union supports a “Davos” style Fascism (or Corporate State – Saint-Simonism from the early 19th century French Collectivist – call it what you like), but so do the other governments of the West.

    When the World Economic Forum of Klaus Schwab sent down the slogans “Build Back Better” and “Reset” only the Australian government refused to use these slogans.

    The British government has used the slogans of Klaus Schwab just as much as the European Union has – there is no indication (none) that the British government will reject “Sustainable Development” (which goes back to the “non binding” Agenda 21 Collectivism agreed by Western governments as far back as 1992 – and, for example, one is not allowed to be critical of in “Wikipedia”) and “Stakeholder Capitalism” – the Corporate State (Fascism) that Klaus Schwab has been pushing since at least 1971.

  • Rich Rostrom

    I have a friend who is a lawyer in the US Department of Defense, working on procurement contracts.

    In the last year, he has somehow been assigned to working on contracts for COVID vaccine development. He wrote that procedures that would normally require several weeks were accelerated to a few days – by “cutting corners”. That is, by omitting exhaustive reviews of supporting documents, mainly.

    There were risks from this: the government could have been stuck for huge cost overruns or excessive prices. But it seems to have gone OK. Not that Trump got any credit.

    The EU, however, seems to be mired in “business as usual”.

  • Nick M

    Zerren, Rich,

    “All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics. TSR2 simply got the first three right.” – Sir Sydney Camm.

    US DoD procurement is rife with this. Look at the F-35. Look at it’s vital statistics. Things like speed, g-holding, range, payload… and politics. Aside from the quite considerable international involvement there are contractors for the program from 48 out of 50 US States. That is way too big to fail despite it’s rather poor showing in three of the four “flying” stats (range is OK-ish). Ever thus with government. Why three V-Bombers? Why the utter disaster that was the Brabazon Committee? All must have ponies! Not just government though. I don’t have a bank in the, quite big, village I live in. We had until quite recently a NatWest and an RBS. RBS group (which of course also owns NatWest) insisted on keeping them both open until they closed both. Perhaps one could have been saved (they were 30 metres apart and basically the same company) if that decision had been made earlier. Oh, well, I do my physical banking at the Post Office. And I need that. For sure I have the ‘net and all but I’m self employed and am often paid in cash or with a cheque (remember them?). But it must be a Royal (Bank of Scotland) pain in the arse if you aren’t online.