European Greens call for vaccine solidarity not vaccine nationalism

5 February 2021

As Greens in the UK and in the European Parliament we are clear that we need to be struggling together against Covid, not battling each other for vaccine supplies.

We welcome the fact that the UK has invested heavily in the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and that its rollout programme is proceeding so well, protecting millions of citizens a week. We also welcome the EU investments in vaccine development and the bloc’s commitment to solidarity across EU member states so that none will be left behind.

We need politicians to work together so that they are not subject to profiteering by pharmaceutical companies. To do this we need full transparency of negotiations and contracts for vaccine supplies. European citizens have invested in these vaccines and they have a right to know how their money has been used and the scale of profits made by drug companies. We must avoid a situation where those paying higher prices receive better treatment: the market can have no place in healthcare.

We would also argue for all Covid vaccines to be sold on the basis of open patents so that production can be rolled out at speed across the world. This is the sort of solidarity that a global pandemic demands and we call on the Commission and the UK government to cooperatively negotiate with pharmaceutical companies and the WHO to ensure IP restrictions do not limit availability of vaccines. Therefore we again call on the Commission to support the TRIPS waiver.

European healthcare is based on a European market for pharmaceutical products: we depend on each other for supplies of life-saving drugs. We deplore recent aggressive behaviour since a trade war over vaccines can only lead to some of the most vulnerable in our communities suffering.

Political leaders have been proud to say that until everybody is safe, nobody is safe, but they need to turn those words into practical action now by allocating European vaccine supplies based on need.



Amelia Womack, EWGP, Deputy Leader

Molly Scott Cato, EWGP, Brexit speaker

Larry Sanders, EWGP, Health speaker

Jutta Paulus, Greens/EFA, Member of Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Tilly Metz, Greens/EFA, Member of Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Rasmus Andresen, Greens/EFA, Spokesperson for Budgetary Affairs


A PDF version of the letter is available here


Back to main news page