Green chief Habeck
Photo: CLEMENS BILAN / EPA
Green chief Robert Habeck is promoting the suspension of corona vaccine patents, as initiated by the USA and more than 100 member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"Germany and the EU should join the US and lobby the
World Trade Organization for an exception," Habeck told SPIEGEL.
The government of US President Joe Biden signaled on Wednesday that it wanted to work to suspend patent protection in order to ramp up vaccine production worldwide as quickly as possible.
Western governments had so far opposed this plan.
“This is a big step out of the US.
We can only fight the pandemic globally, ”said Habeck.
“Patents make sense, but if patent protection means that the pandemic cannot be combated efficiently, then that is absurd.
It's time to change direction. "
In a global pandemic, a vaccine must be a global commons.
An exception rule for patents is to be enforced for their owners, because compensation is provided for such cases.
In response to the US move, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the EU would hold talks: "The EU is also ready to discuss any proposal that addresses the crisis in an effective and pragmatic way."
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called the US decision historical and a step "which puts the well-being of all people everywhere at a difficult time in the foreground."