BRUSSELS, (Reuters) – The European Commission proposed extending its scheme to monitor and limit exports of COVID-19 vaccinations from the bloc. A spokesperson for the European Commission told Reuters Monday.
The scheme is set to expire on Monday if the extension period isn’t extended. The proposal requires the support of a qualified majority in order to be approved by the EU 27 states. It’s not clear if they will.
The spokesperson stated that discussions are continuing with the member states and therefore, could not comment on further details. This would mean that the program will continue to be in force until the end.
Although the scheme was initially launched at the beginning of January, it has been repeatedly extended, in spite criticisms from smaller countries that it may not be necessary or could harm the bloc’s ability to compete.
EU regulations allow for the Commission to make an appeal against rejection by EU government.
This mechanism was created by the EU Commission in the midst of the EU’s vaccination supply crisis. It is also intended to limit exports from pharmaceutical companies that are not complying with EU obligations.
However, this mechanism has allowed hundreds of millions to be exported from the EU toward dozens more countries.
The mechanism was used informally to stop a shipment of 250,000 AstraZeneca(NASDAQ:), doses from Australia to March after an Anglo-Swedish firm reduced supplies to the EU.
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