Why the European Commission failed the vaccine challenge

World

Why the European Commission failed the vaccine challenge

Brussels bureaucrats lacked the necessary expertise in health and procurement

Gideon Rachman

The EU’s failure to deliver Covid-19 vaccines at pace is a major political scandal. For some leading politicians, it is a potentially career-ending fiasco. Those in the line of fire include Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, Emmanuel Macron, president of France, and Jens Spahn, Germany’s health minister and a potential future chancellor.

How did it come to this? Much of the blame lies with the European Commission — which, over the northern summer, persuaded the EU’s 27 member states to coordinate their vaccine drives and to put the commission itself in charge.

There were good and bad reasons for this. The good reason was that EU officials could see the threat of dangerous divisions emerging between EU nations as they competed for scarce supplies...

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