Von der leyen

Can the EU be trusted to introduce vaccine passports?

The contracts were badly drafted. The orders were late. Too few resources were made available for the scale of the task, and the regulators dithered and delayed. Even the most fanatical federalists such as Guy Verhofstadt have admitted the EU’s vaccine programme was little short of a catastrophe. But hey, what does that matter? Ursula von der Leyen has decided this is the moment to double down on the EU’s Covid-19 strategy, and launch a centralised vaccine passport. What could possibly go wrong? Well, er, as the EU’s vaccine fiasco has taught us, lots actually. Von der Leyen has today tried to bounce back from her difficulties with the vaccine

Are Germans losing faith in the European project?

Germans are increasingly losing faith in the European Union due to its bungled handling of the vaccine roll-out. Germany and the other member states have assigned Brussels to organise and oversee the procurement and distribution of Covid jabs. But, so far, the roll-out has been a logistic mess. According to a poll by Civey, commissioned by the German newspaper Der Spiegel, more than 60 per cent of German citizens said their view of Brussels had worsened in light of the disastrous vaccination management. Almost 70 per cent laid the blame at the feet of fellow German Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, who admitted last week

Watch: EU’s jab at Britain’s vaccine arms-race

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

The vaccine disaster has fatally undermined the EU

It might be a bit late, but the supply will come on tap eventually. France’s Sanofi has partnered with Pfizer to start manufacturing its vaccine. BioNTech has just bought a factory in Marburg, Germany from Switzerland’s drugs giant Novartis to retrofit into a vaccine plant. With plenty of money being splashed around, production will arrive soon. Making vaccines is tricky, but not that tricky. By the summer, Europe should have enough Covid-19 shots to jab everyone who wants one. Crisis over, right? Ursula von der Leyen can get back to setting diversity targets, or making climate pledges, or whatever it was she was up to before people started asking why