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Controversy at EU summit: All selfish

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Status: 26.03.2021 02:10 a.m.

At the EU summit, there was nothing to indicate progress with regard to the corona vaccines, which are still far too scarce. Instead of putting pressure on the manufacturers, the so-called Union began an unnecessary distribution war.

A comment by Holger Beckmann,
ARD studio Brussels

With all sympathy for the fundamental idea that the European Union would like to stick together in this crisis and get through it together. That is what your President, your Heads of State and Government, and most MEPs stress over and over again: it only works if everyone pulls together.

Holger Beckmann

Holger Beckmann
ARD studio Brussels

Alone – they don’t. And this tedious video summit of Europe 27 is once again the disappointing proof of that. Because there is nothing that indicates progress with regard to the still far too scarce corona vaccines in the EU. Nothing at all. They couldn’t have done it, and probably couldn’t have done it at all, because in this ugly game the vaccine manufacturers are the really powerful and the states are only the needy.

Unnecessary distribution struggle

You know who decides in such a balance of power and who is decided on. And yet: The heads of government shouldn’t have started a dispute among themselves and beforehand about a supposedly fairer distribution of the vaccine in the EU – and this time this accusation clearly goes towards Austria and its Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the spokesman for this attack, which, as expected, fizzled out and has once again weakened Europe unnecessarily.

Because whoever argues, demonstrates weakness – and in this case the others laugh about it, who have the upper hand and whom the EU wanted to threaten with export controls and export bans: the vaccine manufacturers. In any case, this is not the case with threatening.

Johnson laughs

And someone else will laugh: Boris Johnson in London, who boasts that he is no longer part of it and that he has therefore made better contracts with AstraZeneca or the others who are now really enjoying his Brexit. In any case, he will hardly have to fear that fewer vaccine doses will soon be exported from the EU to his UK – there is far too much disagreement in Europe for that.

It’s bitter in these times: But this EU is an alliance of states made up of sheer egoists who, when in doubt, only seek their own quick advantage. This is why Hungary orders vaccine in Russia before the European Medicines Agency has approved it, which is why Austria instigates other internal conflicts or Denmark still leaves AstraZeneca vaccine doses behind. So you will have to somehow continue to navigate through in order to be able to leave the pandemic behind you one day. Until then, only one thing will help the EU for the time being: the principle of hope; even if that is far too little.

Comment: Divided in the crisis – the EU and its vaccination strategy

Holger Beckmann, ARD Brussels, March 26th, 2021 01:09 am

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