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EU

Jim Brunsden at the FT tweets a thread on EU disagreements over vaccine export controls [edited for brevity]:

  • "Brussels gets its tighter export screening system for COVID19 vaccines, but at a political cost in terms of unity: Four countries voted against the upgraded export authorisation system provisionally put in place last month by EU Commission: Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Ireland
    [...] This is not nearly enough to overturn the EU Commission plan — a qualified majority of member states would have had to reject it.
  • But it's not all good news for von der Leyen: Germany voted in favour but also submitted a non-paper dated April 1, seen by the FT, setting out its concerns — chief among them that it wants the EU Commission to reinstate exemptions for Western Balkan and EFTA countries [...] a warning about how Western Balkans countries have been turning to Chinese and Russian vaccines. In general, Germany says that blocking exports of vaccines out of the EU "should continue to be only a measure of last resort".
  • As for the countries that actually voted against, three of them (NE, BE, SE) added their own statement to their no votes, warning that the enhanced system "might harm the relationship with third countries and hamper global supply chains". "It might inadvertently start a negative spiral of export restrictions that will hamper the necessary ramping up of global production and potentially also the EU's own production and distribution," they warn. "For as long as this regulation is still in force, the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium call for restraint in applying the new criteria."
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-0981 | tom.lake@marketnews.com