The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, announced this Sunday that the European Union will not renew the contract with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca beyond June.
These statements ratify an option that had already been on the table since the European Commission last month filed a complaint against the company for failing to meet its commitment to deliver contracted doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Member States.
“We are not going to renew orders after June. We’ll see what happens,” Breton told France Inter on Sunday.
AstraZeneca’s problems in meeting the deliveries stipulated in the EU contract have for months now pitted the company against the European Commission. It was scheduled to deliver 120 million doses to member states during the first quarter of the year and only delivered 30 million.
Brussels went so far as to send a letter to AstraZeneca to initiate an amicable dispute settlement procedure. After finding that this intermediate step did not facilitate a solution, the EU executive decided to refer the matter to the Belgian courts.