Furious MEPs attack EU over vaccine chaos as scheme lags behind UK -‘Insult to democracy!’
EU vaccine plan slammed by Czech MEP Kateřina Konečná
MEPs said citizens would soon lose faith in the Brussels project unless it is able to speed up the rate jabs are rolled out at. The European Commission is facing increasing pressure as Britain races ahead of European countries, delivering almost as many doses as the entire EU combined. The UK has administered more than 4.5 million jabs, with a rate of 6.76 doses per 100 people – over five-times the rate at which the EU has administered the vaccine.
In comparison, Germany has only been able to roll out just over a million vaccinations, while in France only 479,000 have received a jab.
Speaking in the European Parliament, Hungarian Edina Toth accused Brussels of failing to deliver on its promise for a “speedy vaccination programme”.
The MEP said: “What came after a good start was not what EU citizens had expected.
“By now, it is certain and we have to clearly say this, Europe started mass vaccinations with a significant delay compared to countries in the lead – Great Britain, Israel or the United States.
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“The level of vaccination is still low. If we cannot close our eyes to the daily criticism of the EU vaccination campaign that is voiced by our citizens.”
Ms Toth called on eurocrats to come clean over the number of doses they managed to secure as part of the bloc’s joint vaccine scheme.
German MEP Nicolaus Fest said: “The EU must do more to catch up with other countries, such as Britain, Israel and the US.”
He complained the Commission had deliberately stifled public debate by refusing to release precise details of its failed strategy.
Romanian MEP Nicolae Stefanuta insisted Brussels should seek to replicate President-elect Joe Biden’s vow to deliver 100 million jabs in 100 days.
He added: “I think we need to follow that sort of pace.”
The EU’s vaccine scheme has been hindered by slow authorisation, accusations of securing too few doses and logistical mishaps across their distribution network.
Eurocrats have since faced allegations that they’ve tried to cover up their blunders behind swathes of red tape.
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Romanian MEP Christian Terhes said: ”Smaller and agile moves quicker; bigger and cumbersome moves slower.
“What the animal kingdom suggests, statecraft confirms. Free of EU bureaucratic constraint, the UK was able to pass and start rolling out the vaccine regime faster than the EU.
“One reason was because there was no squabbling between France and Germany about buying vaccines from their national companies.
“Well, at least this episode shows, ultimately its always about national interests.”
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Belgian MEP Philippe Lambert said they had kept the “terms of contracts” secret from the bloc’s taxpayers, adding: “This opaqueness is an insult to democracy.”
The co-chair of the European Green party said the Commission had heavily redacted details of their contracts with vaccine producers.
He fumed: “So much for transparency.
“This farce states, some members of the European Parliament can have some aspects of the contract where there has been a full redaction of the operative bits without being able to inform the public debate properly.”
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