BRUSSELS: The European Union should explore legal means to secure supplies of COVID-19 vaccines it contracted to purchase if negotiations with companies over delayed deliveries prove unsuccessful, European Council President Charles Michel said in a letter.
The EU, at odds with Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca over its failure to deliver shots, has asked if it could divert supplies from Britain, and it also plans to tighten oversight of vaccine exports from the bloc.
Some of the EU’s 27 member states have proposed legal action to force pharmaceutical companies to honour vaccine supply commitments, and the letter to four EU government leaders by Michel suggests that option is now under serious consideration.
He said that if it were “deemed politically opportune”, EU action could include recourse to the bloc’s Article 122 under which EU states would legally take “measures appropriate to the economic situation” in case of severe supply difficulties.
“This would give…