Over 100 civil society organisations call on the European Parliament to support COVID-19 WTO waiver proposal
On 19 November 2020, more than 100 civil society organisations, including MSF Access Campaign, sent an open letter to European Parliament calling for support for India, South Africa, Eswatini and Kenya´s landmark proposal for a temporary waiver from certain intellectual property (IP) provisions under the Agreements on Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for COVID-19 medical technologies.
The waiver aims to ensure governments have an additional flexibility to address IP barriers and to facilitate production and supply of COVID-19 medical tools to ensure sufficient access and availability during the time of the pandemic. The European Union, represented by the European Commission, strongly opposed the tabled waiver proposal at the WTO TRIPS council. The letter is demanding the European Parliament and national parliaments of EU member states to take urgent action by expressing support for the waiver proposal and ask the EU reconsider its firm opposition to the proposal.