The European Parliament has rejected a proposal that would prevent full disclosure of vaccine agreements, a move that would have benefited the EU’s top executive who has been criticized for not being forthcoming about text messages over a Pfizer vaccine deal.
An amendment tabled by Ursula von der Leyen’s group, the European People’s Party stresses that the EU is a “competitive purchaser.” It scraps a requirement to publish the full versions of purchase agreements.
The European Commission president is under pressure for sealing a massive Pfizer vaccine deal for 1.8 billion doses with texts and calls. The European ombudsman in January criticized the Commission for not disclosing the messages.
Thirteen Romanian lawmakers who are in the EPP group voted for the amendment.
Romanian MEP Rares Bogdan was the only MEP out of the 14 lawmakers to vote against it. It was rejected by 507 to 187 on Tuesday.
„It seems the EPP supports Ursula von der Leyen in signing contracts worth billions of dollars with vaccine producers in a totally non-transparent way and violating Europeans’ rights,” afaceri.news said.
Alex Agius Saliba, of the S&D Group said the European ombudsman report highlighted “the opaque procedures in place in 2020 on the buying and distributing of vaccines in the EU.”
Ms von der Leyen “must lead by example and come clean about her hidden text messages. This is the only way to live up to her promise that under her watch the Commission would be beyond reproach on ethics, transparency and integrity.
The European Parliament in October voted to make EU vaccine policies more transparent.
It said purchase agreements, pricing and trial data should be made public.
A resolution was adopted on Oct,. 21 to make the process of researching, purchasing and distributing Covid-19 vaccines more transparent.
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