Mon. May 23rd, 2022


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Penny drops! Leading Europhile turns on Brussels in angry rant: ‘EU is losing credibility’

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Merkel departure would have ‘major impact’ on EU says Butikofer

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The Former MEP, a member of Ms Merkel’s CDU party, has called on the leaders of the European Union to restore confidence in the EU. “The European Union has an increasing internal credibility problem,” Mr Brok told the German daily Neue Westfälische.

Big states like Germany and France were doing “their own thing” more and more in external relations, he added.

Smaller member states would be suspicious and use their veto in the EU, he said.

The former chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee also commented on the agreement between Germany, the USA and Russia on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The EU states in Eastern Europe would have to accept the agreement, although they viewed it with concern.

Mr Brok distanced himself from the foreign policy course of Chancellor Angela Merkel, joining others in his party who criticised the German leader’s choice.

The German politician’s criticism comes as the EU continues to be embroiled in a lawsuit with vaccine producers AstraZeneca.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company hopes to settle a legal dispute with Brussels over COVID-19 vaccine deliveries in the coming weeks, a senior executive said on Thursday, potentially ending a row that has dogged the drugmaker and Brussels this year.

The company is in talks with the EU, Ruud Dobber, executive vice president of the BioPharmaceuticals business, said in a briefing.

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“We’re hopeful in the next few weeks we will have a settlement,” he said, without giving further details.

An EU Commission spokesman told a news conference on Thursday that he had no comment on AstraZeneca’s hopes for a settlement in the legal dispute. He said that legal proceedings continue.

Earlier this year Brussels filed two legal challenges against AstraZeneca centred on the shortfall in vaccine deliveries to the 27-nation bloc this year.

The drugmaker had committed to do its best to deliver 300 million doses by the end of June, but production delays led it to revise this to 100 million vaccines.

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Last month an EU court ruled that AstraZeneca had not met its obligation to make a best reasonable effort to deliver the shots and ordered it to deliver 80 million doses by the end of September. The company said it exceeded the target set by the court by end-June. The court dismissed the other claims.

A second proceeding seeks interim relief, documents, and damages. A hearing for this matter is due in September.

Brussels has largely cut ties with AstraZeneca, choosing not to buy any more of its vaccines for now.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg

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