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VdL has been criticized for many things: isolating herself in her office in the Berlaymont building (she's lives in an apartment on the same floor), with only a small group of confidants she brought with her from Germany, her sparse communication to the press - except it seems, to the German press - and a very concentrated rather than collegial exercise of power.

I don't know of much of that criticism is warranted or not, but it is not fair to lay the blame of the EU vaccination slow start solely at the Commission: as you pointed, out, negotiating supply contracts was not an EC competency. As usual in the EU, the Council rules over the EC and keeps it on a short leash. When things go well, the heads of government in the Council are happy to take credit, and they are as happy to let the EC take the blame when things don't go so well.

If anything, this vaccine supply crisis may have actually compelled the Council to give the EC more power to lean into the vaccine suppliers - Thierry Breton is reportedly calling all chief execs every morning at 5:00, starting with AstraZeneca. All the drama surrounding the Halix plant in the Netherlands and the 29 million doses located in Italy may be signaling that the European countries want their supply agreements to actually have teeth.

by Bernard on Sat Mar 27th, 2021 at 06:02:29 PM EST
She got the Commissioners she wanted. She should use them more.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Mar 27th, 2021 at 07:34:40 PM EST
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