The European Commission announced the lawsuit against AstraZeneca on Monday afternoon. The Commission has been pushing for this for some time, but many member states, including Germany, have hit the brakes. These countries feared that the legal dispute would only lead to further delays in the delivery of vaccine doses.
Ultimately, the Commission says, all member states have agreed to the suit. Immediately after that, he opened the case before the Belgian court. This actually happened last Friday. It comes to the court of first instance, and it is a type of preliminary redress procedure. The European Commission expects the judge to rule within seven weeks.
Brussels and the member states are extremely dissatisfied with AstraZeneca. The company signed a contract with the authority to deliver 120 million doses in the first quarter of this year. 30 million doses were delivered. Second quarter compliance (180 million doses) was reduced by the manufacturer to 70 million doses.
In an exchange of letters, AstraZeneca was unable to explain why her performance was poor, according to the committee. That is why it has now been decided to go to court. In this way, the European Union hopes to obtain a fixed amount of vaccine doses.
According to the commission, AstraZeneca has sufficient production capacity. Brussels suspects the Anglo-Swedish company is prioritizing the UK in delivering vaccines. AstraZeneca CEO suggested earlier this year that London was receiving aid faster because the British government had previously signed a contract with better terms. Both arguments turn out to be lies.
If AstraZeneca refuses to provide the doses, the European Union can also claim financial compensation. Commission Chair Von der Leyen has made it clear repeatedly in recent weeks that the European Union, in her view, will not do business with the British-Swedish company in the future because it will not be a reliable partner.