The EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, has been in the firing line in recent weeks, over the EU’s failure to procure enough vaccine doses. The Commission’s haphazard programme has left officials scrambling for excuses to explain why the bloc has come up short, with various EU leaders hitting out at AstraZeneca, Britain’s one-dose strategy, and our medicine approvals process.
Could those excuses be wearing thin? That might explain why the EU President appeared to come up with a new strategy this weekend for deflecting blame: by accusing Britain of a Cold War mindset.
In a video speech to students at Warwick university, von der Leyen explained that she had grown up in an era dominated by two rival superpowers, and lamented the fact that this ‘old, confrontational mindset’ still survived today.
The Commission President gave the example of Covid-19 and hit out at ‘some countries’ seeing the vaccine roll-out as a ‘race among global powers’, which she compared to the 1960s space race. No prizes for guessing which country the President had in mind there.
Mr S isn’t exactly sure von der Leyen’s attempt to draw a line between the space race and our current, errr, arms race quite works though, considering that one involved creating weapons capable of obliterating all life on earth, and the other protection against an infectious disease. Perhaps Brussels should stop fighting the Cold War itself, and just admit that it got this one wrong instead…