The Belgium MEP explained the European Commission was to blame for low vaccine rates in the bloc's states. In a video called "The inconvenient trut
The Belgium MEP explained the European Commission was to blame for low vaccine rates in the bloc’s states. In a video called “The inconvenient truth behind the vaccination fiasco of the EU”, the politician also condemned the “diplomatic disaster” the EU caused when triggering Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol in its desperate bid to grab UK jabs. But former MEP Rupert Lowe mocked Mr Verhofstadt’s admission as he said it showed the EU must have really “stuffed up” if even the staunch Europhile had turned against the bloc.
He wrote on Twitter: “When Verhofstadt is labelling the EU vaccine drive as a ‘fiasco’ you know they’ve really stuffed up.
“Turns out bureaucrats thousands of miles away in Brussels can’t make the best decisions for nation-states.
“Not a surprise to anyone who has spent time in the European Parliament!”
In the video, Mr Verhofstadt called on the EU to renegotiate its “ill-conceived” contracts with manufacturers.
He said: “If you believe in Europe, if you love Europe, it’s your duty to be the most vocal critic, especially when Europe falls short of its potential and our expectations.
“That’s exactly what’s happening now with the vaccinations.
“It’s a fiasco.”
The European Commission had agreed supply contracts with pharmaceutical companies on behalf of its 27 member states, which meant lower prices.
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“Nevertheless, there is a crucial lack of supply.”
Mr Verhofstadt also blamed the vaccine contracts that the Commission negotiated, especially the AstraZeneca deal and its “best reasonable efforts” provision.
He said: “I think the measures taken by the Commission are hugely symbolic, insufficient and counter-productive.”
It comes after Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also admitted that the bloc took longer to make the decision over the vaccine contracts than a single country would.
She said: “Alone, a country can be a speedboat, while the EU is more like a tanker.
“Before concluding a contract, the 27 member states had five full days to say whether they agreed or not.
“This naturally delays the process.”