Jean-Claude Juncker criticizes EU over Covid vaccine issue with UK

EU has been criticized by Jean-Claude Junker over the COVID vaccine spat with the UK.

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EU has been criticized by Jean-Claude Junker over the COVID vaccine spat with the UK.

EU is over-conscious over its vaccine fund. Jean said that the organization must be aware of waging a “stupid vaccine war” with Britain. Instead, it should focus on public health and safety. 

Juncker was replaced by Ursula von der Leyen in 2019. He said that the EU is using a hard-line approach towards Britain. He also blamed Britain for delaying vaccine shipment. “This could create major reputation damage to the European Union, who used to be the world’s free trade champion,” Juncker told the BBC’s HARDtalk program. “And so I don’t think that this is the right way to do it.

The commission updated its export authorization mechanism on Wednesday to allow vaccines to the countries that are under trade ban and other sanctions. Normally, the UK government did not ban exports of vaccines to the countries. However, recently the government got into a contract with AstraZeneca to deliver vaccine doses. 

The UK also appears to fall foul of the EU’s new criteria on vaccination coverage. There is a very less percentage of people who are vaccinated as of now. Only 45 jabs were administered per 100 residents, compared with 13 per 100 on average across the 27 member states. The commission took an account of whether the country complies with the regulations of the EU. 

Juncker prefers having a dialogue with all EU members since they are going on with faulty vaccine rollout. France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, told the Greek television channel ERT that he believed the EU had been too tentative in procuring and distributing vaccines.

He also said that getting approval from the European Medicines Agency makes the vaccine procedure further slow. Asked whether Von der Leyen, a former German defense minister, should resign, Juncker said he did not believe that would be appropriate.

The EU’s procurement of vaccines was also held up for more than two months last year by several member states declining to take their full share because of the risk they might have been spending money on a product that could have proved ineffective. The new scandal regarding the efficiency of the AstraZeneca vaccine also raised eyebrows of the world leaders on the working of the EU.