WHAT the EC Commission want to Hide on the vaccin’s Deal ?
As the European Parliament has issued complains about lack of transparency,, finally the European Commission accepted to present the contracts to EP Health Commission with some restrictions: 45 minutes lecture maximum; no copy or photos, some paragraphs deleted ! UNBELIEVABLE
The more the days go by, the more we realize that entrusting the European Commission with mass purchases of COVID vaccines from major labs, was a false idea.
An idea to restore a badly “tarnished coat of arms”!
This strategy was devised by the Brussels’ Bureaucrats to improve their image since they have been notoriously absent during the first wave of COVID. In early March, Ursula Von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, gave a press conference regarding her first 100 days in office. Her speech will be mostly remembered by the fact that she failed to mention the ongoing pandemic crisis! As Northern Italy was overwhelmed by the virus from China, Brussels was absent to the point that the Italian public opinion had turned against this apathy, as masks, tests and medical teams were sent from Russia, Cuba or even Venezuela!
Of course, Emmanuel Macron, through ideology and ignorance, embraced the idea of the Brussels’ Bureaucrats!
However, for more than a month and a half since the Brussels’ system was put in place, we continue to see more and more drawbacks:
Delays in the ignition! European Bureaucracy indicted
Bureaucratic acts were increased by the European Medicines Agency (tasked to give the green light to the first vaccine -end of December) and by the European Commission, which had to manage the distribution of the vaccines. Thus, 3 weeks of procedures have been turned to 1 and a half month. On the other hand, Israel was able to immunize ¾ of its population over 60 years of age as of January 8, 2021 and thus saved many lives.
Faced with the delays, some states such as Germany and Finland have threatened to order doses of vaccines directly from the Labs, in particular from Pfizer, without waiting for the batches from Brussels
In Germany, criticism of Brussels’ slowness and bureaucracy has reached a peak in recent days.
Alexander Von Schoenburg, Editor-in-Chief of « Bild Zeitung », the biggest newspaper in the German press, said « European technocracy is sclerotic and moving at snail speed ».
Markus Söder, Leader of the Social-Christian Party CSU, Angela Merkel’s Bavarian CDU partner, added “The EU is too bureaucratic, too few of the good vaccines have been ordered and the pricing procedures have been taking much longer”. He also stressed that it was « paradoxical that a vaccine produced in Germany is available more quickly outside the EU than in Germany itself ».
In reaction to these delays, Angela Merkel spoke to Vladimir Putin about the possibility of jointly producing vaccines with Russia.
Spain has also complained in recent days about delays in deliveries due to logistical problems.
A campaign in disorder:
The announcement of a coordinated and determined vaccine distribution strategy in the EU was a failure.
Neither on the launch of the campaign, nor the priority targets, nor the approval of vaccines, nor its first results, nor the procedures used, no consistency exists!
More precisely, Hungary started the vaccination campaign one day before the date proposed by Brussels. The latest figures on vaccinations also show very large disparities: Denmark, on January 3, could claim the highest vaccination rate (per 100 inhabitants) in the EU (0.81), ahead of Germany (0.32), Italy (0.21), Estonia and Croatia (0.19), and Spain (0.18). France and the Netherlands are the two red lanterns with rates close to 0.001%
In other words, the abovementioned countries had different priorities: France initially reserved vaccines for the most vulnerable people in retirement homes, while Germany vaccinates people massively according to their age group, and Italy and Poland reserve them primarily for the medical staff (or for celebrities in Poland, to set an example)
Germany has installed « vaccinodromes », while at the beginning France only envisaged a limited number of places (public hospitals …) before changing, once again, its strategy.
The campaign in Belgium is very decentralized at the level of the Regions and local authorities, while the French government has so far refused aid from the Regions and local authorities.
The Netherlands had put everything on the AstraZeneca vaccine because of its low cost, but the European Medicines Agency, which is based in the Netherlands, still has not approved it! (while it will be widely distributed in many countries such as India)
An impressive European cacophony!
Not enough vaccines ordered? Why?
Several countries including Germany, Austria, Spain and Finland have criticized Brussels for having bought an insufficient amount of vaccines!
Consequently, and by being under a lot of pressure, the European Commission announced on January 8 that it was going to order 300 million additional doses of vaccine, including from cheap vaccine manufacturers, such as AstraZeneca!
As if the European Commission did not know the number of inhabitants in the EU when it placed its first orders in November 2020!
Some people in Brussels believe that the reluctance in buying more vaccines is caused by 2 factors. Firstly, the vague conditions of contracts that the Commission has signed with large laboratories, and secondly, the French pressure to delay massive purchases while waiting for the vaccine from Sanofi! « shame on anyone who thinks evil of it!!! « …
The total lack of transparency and the question of prices:
The European Commission acted as an intermediary between the labs of the big pharmaceutical companies and the EU Member States. It was the European Commission that bought the vaccines by favoring the Big Pharmas, without calling for tenders, by refusing to communicate the purchase prices and probably with exclusivity clauses. States buy back the doses based on the total number of their inhabitants. But the greatest vagueness remained on the conditions under which these vaccines were purchased!
The main reason for this situation is that the European Commission has so far refused to give precise information on how the contracts have been conducted! Strangely enough!
The contracts that the European Commission has signed, included a confidentiality clause on prices: by taking under consideration that the first vaccine on the European market was the most expensive one, one is left to wonder that the Commission may have wanted to hide the price agreements between some of the Big Pharmas (Pfizer, Modena, CureVac).
We now know, thanks to a secret from Belgian Secretary of State Eva de Bleeker, that there was indeed a confidentiality clause! She revealed, on Thursday, December 17, the prices of the doses of vaccines against Covid-19 which should have remained confidential. Prices that range from a multiple one to eight.
The most expensive are the ones bought first by the European Commission: €12 for Pfizer / BioNTech, the first to hit the market in the UK at the beginning of December and in the EU at the end of December; $18 for the Modena vaccine, which hits the market in Europe in early January. The others announced will be cheaper ($8.50 for Johnson and Johnson, €10 for CureVac, and even only €1.78 for the vaccine from the duo Oxford and AstraZeneca which must be authorized at the end of January, €7.56 for the one that Sanofi and GSK expected to release at an undetermined date.
By comparison, the Indian vaccine, will be soon available on the market and has been ordered by a large number of developing countries, and will cost around €3 on the international market.
The Russian Sputnik 5 vaccine, which Russian health authorities indicate that it is 92% safe, has been sold for around €8 in international markets, but it has been dispensed free to the population since early December.
Did the European Commission intentionally order the more expensive vaccines first?
Why has the European Commission also been « impulsive » against Hungary’s purchase of the Russian Sputnik 5 vaccine when Chancellor Merkel is now considering direct cooperation between Russia and Germany?
The scandal of the lack of transparent procedures for purchasing vaccines
It is within the remit of the European Commission to verify that public entities in the Member States, national and territorial administrations, apply European laws on the transparency of auctions beginning from a minimum amount, depending on whether the public entities refer to work, supplies or services!
How many Municipalities tremble when they have to pass major public contracts so as not to fall under the wrath of Brussels!
But Europe can exempt itself from the laws it imposes on others!
The European Commission is hiding behind one of the greatest illogicalities of the European law: In terms of public procurement, all public entities in the EU are required to comply with specific rules, including on the transparency of auctions. It is a European law which applies to everyone except the EU itself. In its time, this anomaly had been condemned – I myself had done so in an opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on Public Procurement – however without results.
The vaccine tender is the largest ever launched by the EU itself! And it is not affected by European laws on public procurement!
We can see the effects now!
Despite numerous requests for information from Members of the European Parliament, civil society groups and lawyers, the European Commission takes refuge behind this legal loophole and responds, « Move on, there is nothing to do ». This is what the Director-General of the relevant department at the European Commission, Sandra Gallina, said: « Revealing the terms of contracts would endanger the placing of vaccines on the market ».
As the European parliament has issued complains, finally ( the 10/01) the European Commission accepted to present the contracts to EP Health Commission with some restrictions: 45 minutes lecture maximum; no copy or photos, some paragraphs deleted
The purchase of vaccines by the European Commission: A bad idea
We still do not understand why the 27 entrusted these group purchases to the EuropeanCommission!
Could the Brussels’ Bureaucracy get better prices? The results are far from convincing!
Would a coordinated campaign have given a better image of Europe: the cacophony shows rather the opposite?
Was it therefore to escape the obligations of European calls for tenders that we paradoxically appealed to Brussels?
What is behind this very strange procedure?
If it could have been legitimate for Europeans to coordinate their fight against the pandemic -which has not happened or has happened too late- if it could have been right to invest together in research, then why the European Commission took this role? It seems strange that the Member States gave the Commission this role while knowing the slowness of the Bureaucracy!
 ces979-2008_ac_en.docUnrestricted -OPINION of the European Economic and Social Committee
on International public procurement (exploratory opinion)