The European Commission President came under fire from University lecturer John Laughland for her recent comments calling out European countries who wanted to source alternatives supplies of coronavirus vaccines outside the supply chains set up by the EU. Across Europe, governments have been struggling to supply their populations with adequate numbers of doses. Prof Laughland told an RT discussion programme the comments from Von der Leyen had shown her “ideological blindness” in handling the shortages.
He told RT CrossTalk: “Ursula Von der Leyen said a week or ten days ago that Europe had to buy vaccines together as a bloc,
“Because otherwise European unity would be threatened and that was the reason that the vaccine rollout was slower.
“That was a terrible thing to say because it showed she puts European unity above the health of European citizens.
“But the extent of her ideological blindness is therefore revealed.”
He continued: “That is why I say that she is quite capable of doing things in the name of European ideology which are against European interests.”
Amid concerns that EU solidarity is breaking down, France’s Europe Minister Clement Beaune has spoken out and insisted that continued cooperation within the EU on vaccination “benefits everyone.”
Mr Beaune told RTL that member states must not leave the European framework.
He said: “I am thinking in particular of the countries you have mentioned because I would first remind them that benefit greatly from this European solidarity.
It comes as France confirmed it could block shipments of coronavirus vaccine abroad after Italy denied 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca jabs to Australia.
French Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Friday France could block shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to non-EU countries, similar to moves by Italy. Asked by BFM TV if France could follow Italy’s move on this, Mr Veran replied: “We could”.