Vaccine: EU demands heavy compensation from AstraZeneca

In the first quarter of 2021, the Anglo-Swedish laboratory AstraZeneca delivered only thirty million doses of vaccine against Covid-19 out of the 120 million doses provided for in the prior purchase contract signed in summer 2020 with the European Union.

AP - Matthias Schrader

Text by: RFI Follow

3 min

The violent dispute between the European Union and AstraZeneca reached its peak on Wednesday, May 26, since since this morning, it is before a Belgian civil court that the dispute began to be examined.

The European Commission had tried to use the amicable dispute settlement procedure provided for in the contract but faced with the failure in its eyes of this procedure, it has therefore taken legal action and is claiming heavy compensation from the Anglo-Swedish laboratory. .

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With our correspondent in Brussels,

Pierre Benazet

The lawyer for the European Union first requested 10 million euros in penalties from AstraZeneca for its delays in delivering the Covid-19 vaccine.

Above all, the EU asks for 10 euros per dose and per day of delay.

It would be an astronomical sanction if it were granted by the court: in the first quarter, the Anglo-Swedish laboratory delivered only 30 million doses of vaccine out of the 120 million doses provided for in the prior purchase contract signed the last summer. 

It was the summary judge who was referred by the European Union, that is to say the urgent legal proceedings before the

Belgian courts

since the European Commission has its official seat in Brussels.

A third of the 300 million doses promised

The litigation before the courts essentially revolves around the notion of " 

best reasonable efforts

 ", enshrined in the contract.

According to the lawyer for the European Union, AstraZeneca has absolutely not made its “ 

best efforts

 ” to deliver the planned doses to Europeans. 

On the contrary, the Anglo-Swedish laboratory has, according to the lawyer, chosen to fulfill all the orders at the same time, by exporting for example to Japan 50 million doses, and above all, by delivering to the United Kingdom the essential to the production of its British factories, without seeking to fulfill its commitments with Europe.

The dispute could go even further to justice.

By the end of the second half of the year, AstraZeneca plans to deliver only a third of the 300 million doses provided for in the contract with the European Union. 

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See also: Vaccines: the European Union has not renewed its contract with AstraZeneca

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  • European Union

  • Vaccines

  • Coronavirus

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