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Parliament to discuss TRIPS waiver in plenary debate

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Brussels, 17/05/2021 – The European Pirates Delegation in the Greens/EFA group fully support a waiver for exclusive patents for Covid-19 vaccines and related equipment, that will be debated within the global vaccine strategy in the plenary of the EU Parliament on Wednesday. The European Commission must start working together with the Member States to guarantee a temporary waiver of certain obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The resolution will be voted in June.

Patrick Breyer, German Pirate Member of the European Parliament, comments:

There’s no justification for exclusive patents during a global health crisis. As this pandemic is escalating, we have a moral, ethical and medical responsibility to overcome short-sighted capitalist self-interest in maximum profit and increase the vaccination rate rapidly. Development of these medical technologies has been made possible with large amounts of public money, so the only logical consequence is to share the intellectual property for the greater good and offer fair compensation to patent holders. We, the Pirates, have always been calling for a reform of the excesses of patent rules which stifle innovation and fail to meet public needs.“

Mikuláš Peksa, Czech Pirate Member of the European Parliament and Chairperson of the European Pirates, comments:

None of us is safe until the most of the world is vaccinated. Therefore, the only way to achieve that as quickly and cheaply as possible is to release patents. The United States is our strong partner now and President Biden agrees to this move. All in all, it is a possibility to end this pandemic. With the Pirates, we will push the European Parliament to release patents as soon as possible.“

Marcel Kolaja, Czech Pirate Member of the European Parliament and Vice-President of the European Parliament, comments:

The current inequality in access to vaccines is harmful to the whole world. We have learned our lessons that we can overcome the pandemic only if we act together globally. The Union must put citizens’ health first and lift the patent restrictions on Covid-19 vaccines.”

The waiver will be debated together with the global vaccine strategy on Wednesday. The initial proposal for a waiver would cover all technologies for the detection, prevention, treatment and response to Covid-19, while the United States last week stated limited support for waiving intellectual property rights in vaccines only.


For further details and media inquiries please contact:

Nikolaus Riss for German and English

Tomáš Polák for Czech and English

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