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Parliamentary questions
2 February 2017
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Lola Sánchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  EU's position on the UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines at WIPO

The recommendations of the UN High‐Level Panel on Access to Medicines(1) (HLP) elicited a very critical response from the EU on 14 December 2016 in the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), which stated that ‘The work conducted by the Panel started from an assumption that “there was a policy incoherence between the justifiable rights of inventors, international human rights law, trade rules and public health”’. The Commission indicated in its written contribution to the Panel that it does not share this assumption(2).

The strong support for the HLP recommendations expressed by the European Parliament Working Group on Access to Medicines and Poverty-Related Diseases(3) stands in stark contrast with the official EU position, calling on the EU to ‘acknowledge the usefulness of the recommendations and start a process to facilitate the implementation in order to ensure both innovation and affordable and suitable access to the needed innovative medical tools, in Europe and beyond.’

1. Could the Commission clarify at which juncture the delegation representing the Council, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Commission consulted with the European Parliament on the position expressed regarding the report of the UN High‐Level Panel on Access to Medicines?

2. Could the Commission explain how the delegation representing the Council, the EEAS and the Commission will ensure that the position adopted by the EU’s representatives at WIPO on 14 December 2016 takes into account the legitimate democratic interests and institutional viewpoints of Parliament?

3. Could the Commission explain the democratic, accountable and transparent process on the basis of which the EU’s position on the UN HLP report was formulated?

(1) http://www.unsgaccessmeds.org/final-report
(2) https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/un-geneva/17248/wipo-standing-committee-law-patents-25th-session-patents-and-health_en
(3) https://www.msfaccess.org/content/epwg-statement-supporting-recommendations-un-high-level-panel-access-medicines-report

Last updated: 21 February 2017Legal notice