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Parliamentary questions
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13 October 2020
Question for written answer E-005595/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Tilly Metz (Verts/ALE), Kim Van Sparrentak (Verts/ALE), Michèle Rivasi (Verts/ALE), Margrete Auken (Verts/ALE), Rasmus Andresen (Verts/ALE), Ville Niinistö (Verts/ALE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Support for the proposed waiver on some sections of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights to facilitate the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID‑19

Last week, India and South Africa submitted a proposal at the World Trade Organization requesting that the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) recommend to the General Council, as early as possible, a waiver on the implementation, application and enforcement of some sections of the TRIPS Agreement, namely covering copyright, industrial designs and undisclosed information. The recommendation relates to the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19 and aims to facilitate effective technology transfer for COVID‑19‑related vaccines, therapeutics or diagnostic tests and ensure global access to these products.

TRIPS flexibilities were critical in turning the tide against the AIDS pandemic, and we cannot afford to wait for thousands of deaths to occur before realising that a stringent enforcement of intellectual property rights mechanisms restricts access to medicines.

The ambitious request made by India and South Africa will help to make treatments accessible to people around the world. We call on the EU to be coherent in its pledge to contribute to a global solution to the pandemic and to support the proposed waiver this week.

As a representative of the EU in the TRIPS Council, does the Commission intend to support the waiver?

How would the EU accommodate the proposed waiver in its pandemic response to ensure that global and EU access to COVID‑19 medical tools are complementary?

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