EU Council President Charles Michel opposes calls for vaccine patents to be suspended in the corona crisis
Photo: POOL / REUTERS
Before the start of the G7 deliberations on the corona pandemic, the leaders of the European Union spoke out clearly against a comprehensive suspension of patent protection for corona vaccines.
"A suspension of patents may sound good, but it is not a silver bullet," said EU Council President Charles Michel at a press conference in Cornwall, England.
Michel said the Trips agreement on international intellectual property protection already offers flexibility and will focus on proposals like encouraging voluntary licensing, knowledge transfer and pooling of patents on mutually agreed terms.
US President Joe Biden surprisingly backed calls from poorer countries to suspend patent protection for Covid-19 vaccines.
This would allow manufacturers around the world to produce the vaccines without license fees.
Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and other influential heads of state and government have blocked this move so far.
Patents for critics are not the obstacle
Critics object, among other things, that the obstacle is not the patents, but production capacities, knowledge and raw material supplies.
Michel pointed out on Thursday that more than 270 million doses of vaccine had already been exported to third countries from the EU.
In addition, the EU is a top supporter of the Covax initiative for fair vaccine distribution.
With more than 2.8 billion euros, at least 100 million doses of vaccine would be donated by the end of the year.
The heads of state and government of the G7 countries will meet in Cornwall this Friday.
In addition to Germany, the group includes the USA, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, France and Italy.
The EU is represented as an institution.
For US President Biden it is the first trip abroad after his inauguration.
Biden had previously waived visits abroad due to the corona crisis.
hba / dpa