Opinion issued at the request of the Committee for Health and Equal Opportunities of the Chamber of Representatives regarding the following proposals for a resolution:
- Proposal for a resolution to ensure the availability and accessibility of the COVID-19 vaccine by waiving the patents on this vaccine (DOC 55 1967/1);
- Proposal for a resolution to make the COVID-19 vaccine a global public good (DOC 55 1815/1).
On 21 May 2021, the Council received a request from the Committee for Health and Equal Opportunities of the Chamber of Representatives for an opinion regarding the proposals for a resolution in the parliamentary documents 1967/1 and 1815/1. These proposals refer to a proposal by India and South Africa to exempt the member states of the World Trade Organization from the obligations of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).
The written consultation shows that the members who expressed their views (with the exception of one member) believe that a waiver of intellectual property rights will not lead to the achievement of the pursued objective, which is to support a global and equitable distribution of vaccines in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and to improve access to these vaccines in developing countries within a reasonable timeframe. Moreover, most of the members are of the opinion that this measure is likely to have negative effects, particularly with regard to promoting innovation in view of the future challenges linked to access to and sharing technology in times of crisis (particularly public health crises).
Opinion of 31 May 2021 (PDF, Dutch version – French version)