Answer given by Ms Kyriakides on behalf of the European Commission
1. In its communication about an EU Strategy for COVID-19 vaccines of 17 June 2020, the Commission acknowledges that the urgent need for such vaccines is not only a European challenge, but also a global one. This is why the Commission is committed to universal, equitable and affordable access to a vaccine against COVID-19 and why the Commission — in line with the World Health Assembly resolution referred to — has taken a number of steps to promote such access. These steps include the launch of a Global Coronavirus Response, the set-up of the ACT-Accelerator and — most recently — our declaration of interest in view of joining the COVAX Facility.
2. The notion of universal common good highlights the importance for humanity of finding a vaccine that can be employed in prevention of Covid-19, an infection that knows no borders. It is not a legal concept producing legal consequences, also in the context of intellectual property (IP) rights.
3. An effective IP system is crucial to ensure incentives for the development of innovative vaccines . As set out in the abovementioned EU Vaccines Strategy, the Commission supports voluntary pooling and licensing of IP related to COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines, to promote equitable global access as well as a fair return on investments.