At a debate during the May session, several of Parliament’s political groups called on the Commission to ask for such a waiver to support global vaccination efforts, while others argued it would not speed up the provision of vaccines. Most recently, Trade Committee MEPs urged the EU to engage in constructive talks in the WTO to ensure that countries do not face retaliation over COVID-19-related patent infringements.
The resolution will be put to the vote on Wednesday, with results announced on Thursday.
Any decision on waiving intellectual property rights would be taken by the WTO TRIPS Council. In October last year, India and South Africa initiated a proposal in the WTO to temporarily exempt all patents related to COVID-19 prevention, containment and treatment from IPR protection. Later, the US administration backed the call.
On 20 May, WTO Director-General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala discussed, among others, the call for a patent waiver with MEPs on the Trade Committee.
Council and Commission statements, with resolution
Vote results: Thursday, 10 June
EP Multimedia Centre: free photos, video and audio material – EU Vaccine Strategy