Why the European Commission failed the vaccine challenge

Brussels bureaucrats lacked the necessary expertise in health and procurement

02 February 2021 - 19:34 By Gideon Rachman

The EU’s failure to deliver Covid-19 vaccines at pace is a major political scandal. For some leading politicians, it is a potentially career-ending fiasco. Those in the line of fire include Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, Emmanuel Macron, president of France, and Jens Spahn, Germany’s health minister and a potential future chancellor.

How did it come to this? Much of the blame lies with the European Commission — which, over the northern summer, persuaded the EU’s 27 member states to coordinate their vaccine drives and to put the commission itself in charge...

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