They both shouted victory when the Brussels Court of First Instance issued its order on Friday, June 18. The European Commission, which attacked AstraZeneca in summary proceedings for not having delivered the number of vaccines against Covid-19 provided for by the contract (under Belgian law) which binds them, welcomed by the voice of its president the decision which condemns the laboratory to deliver 50 million additional doses to the EU. “This decision confirms the Commission’s position: AstraZeneca has not honored the commitments it made in the contract. It is satisfying to see that an independent judge confirms this », said Ursula von der Leyen. The laboratory, meanwhile, has “Greeted” the decision, and “Now looks forward to renewing its collaboration with the European Commission to participate in the fight against the pandemic in Europe”.
If, apparently, the Commission can be satisfied with the order of the Belgian justice, it constitutes in reality, a snub. A small reminder is in order: the contract signed between Brussels and AstraZeneca provided that the Twenty-Seven would buy 300 million doses from the laboratory, including 100 million in the first quarter and 200 million in the second quarter. But the delays have piled up, week after week. Between the 1is January and March 31, only 30 million vaccines were delivered and over the following three months, the Anglo-Swedish group pledged to deliver 70 million.
10 euros per dose not delivered
In this context, the Commission asked the judge to force AstraZeneca to deliver 90 million doses in the second quarter and 180 million in the third quarter, in order to fully execute its commitments – with a quarter of delay. She argued in particular that the group had not made its “Best reasonable efforts”, contrary to what was provided for in the contract. And had reserved the use of some of its factories to deliver London, at the expense of the European Union.
The interim order certainly condemns the laboratory to deliver, according to a precise schedule, 50 million doses by September 27, in addition to the 30 million for the first quarter. But we are still very far from the Commission’s requests. In addition, AstraZeneca, which has already delivered 40 million vaccines in the second quarter, will have no problem carrying out this sentence.
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