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Parliamentary question - E-000540/2022Parliamentary question

Means used by President von der Leyen to negotiate deal with Pfizer CEO

Question for written answer  E-000540/2022
to the Commission
Rule 138
Marco Campomenosi (ID), Angelo Ciocca (ID), Simona Baldassarre (ID), Elena Lizzi (ID), Anna Bonfrisco (ID), Alessandra Basso (ID), Mara Bizzotto (ID), Annalisa Tardino (ID), Stefania Zambelli (ID), Massimo Casanova (ID), Silvia Sardone (ID), Gianna Gancia (ID), Alessandro Panza (ID), Isabella Tovaglieri (ID), Susanna Ceccardi (ID), Antonio Maria Rinaldi (ID), Paolo Borchia (ID), Marco Zanni (ID)

Back in April 2021, The New York Times reported that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla had negotiated a deal for vaccine doses largely by means of text message. According to the American newspaper, when asked to provide access to the messages, the Commission said that it would make an email, a letter and a press release public but did not mention the texts.

Recently, European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly strongly criticised the Commission, saying that such messages clearly do fall under EU transparency law.

Whatever the reasons are for having denied access to the texts, the lack of transparency undermines citizens’ faith in the Commission's work and the regulatory process.

A Commission spokesperson said that it would comment on 26 April 2022.

Taking account of the above and the Ombudsman’s analysis, how does the incident stand up when considered against the Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission?

In response to the Ombudsman’s requests, will the Commission fully clarify the matter and reveal the content of these messages?


Last updated: 16 February 2022
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