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discussion: EU does not see a "miracle solution" in the release of vaccine patents

The EU remains cautious about the US proposal to release vaccine patents to address the global shortage of corona vaccines. "We do not think that this is a miracle solution in the short term," said EU Council President Charles Michel on Saturday at the meeting of heads of state and government in the Portuguese coastal city of Porto.

The Union does not want to shut itself off from a discussion on the release of patents. One is ready to discuss the subject as soon as a concrete proposal is on the table, said Michel. At the same time, international partners should be encouraged to facilitate the export of corona vaccines. At the same time he campaigned for the swift lifting of export barriers.

While Germany reiterated its skepticism at the beginning of the summit on Friday, numerous summit participants were open to discussion. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned against too high expectations of a suspension of patents.

This will "not solve the problems in the short and medium term (...)" and "will not bring a single dose of vaccination," said von der Leyen. Rather, it is necessary that countries with vaccines share them, that exports are not restricted and that investments are made in expanding production. Von der Leyen reiterated that she was "open" to discussing the US proposal to suspend vaccine patents. If this is carried out, however, it must take place with "a 360-degree view" and take into account all aspects, "because we need vaccines for the entire world".

Disaster relief activated

On Saturday afternoon, the heads of state and government want to connect to a video summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The restart of negotiations on a free trade agreement is to be agreed upon. But the dramatic corona situation is likely to overshadow the talks. On Saturday, India reported more than 4,000 corona deaths within 24 hours for the first time and again more than 400,000 new infections. According to Indian sources, more than 40 countries have brought aid deliveries. The EU has also activated its disaster relief. (apa / afp / reuters)