Danish PM backs tighter EU export control on Covid-19 vaccines

Danish PM backs tighter EU export control on Covid-19 vaccines
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she will support the European Union if it decides to implement export restrictions on Covid-19 vaccines.

Speaking after a summit Thursday evening, Frederiksen gave her backing to the EU, which has said it will restrict the export of vaccines out of the area if necessary.

“We have supported the restrictions which already exist today and we are also prepared to go even further,” she said.

The Danish PM said the measure would ensure all parties “play openly and fairly with regard to vaccines”.

Prior to the summit, some EU member states had expressed concerns over restrictions approved in January when AstraZeneca did not deliver doses to the EU from its factories in the United Kingdom as promised, while doses produced in the EU were exported to the UK.

The EU Commission further tightened its export restrictions this week.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday that EU was the “region that exports most vaccines worldwide” and invited other countries to “match our openness”.

But the EU should not place obstacles to trade and cooperation between continents and countries, Frederiksen stressed.

“This is something we must continue to look at. The most important thing is to solve the problems there might be. If there’s a need to turn the screw in some contexts, backing has been given to doing that,” she said.

Millions of people in the UK are currently awaiting the second dose of their AstraZeneca vaccines. If the EU blocks exports of vaccines produced in the UK to the EU, a supply problem could result for the UK.

“Nobody wants to harm Britons or the UK. But we do want a partnership that works in a fair and reasonable way. And that’s what we must ensure now,” the Danish PM said.

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