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February 22, 2024

A dramatic twist: MEPs revolt and summon Von Der Leyen to testify on the contracts signed with Pfizer

Author : Sheikh Dieng | Editor : Anty | June 14, 2023 at 10:23 AM

In a letter consulted by  Politico , MEPs, members of the Special Committee on Covid, summoned Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission, to come and explain publicly about the vaccine contracts she signed with Pfizer and which are estimated at several billion euros. MEPs justify this decision by the need to shed light on an opaque affair which has sparked anger within the European Union 

The revolt against Von Der Leyen begins again. Less than a month after the violent scandal that shook Brussels following the arrest of high EU figures accused of having been corrupted by Qatar, the noose is tightening around Von Der Leyen, current President from the European Commission for its role in signing vaccine contracts with the American laboratory Pfizer.

At least that's what the media  Politico revealed . Indeed, according to this source who says he consulted a confidential letter written by Kathleen Van Brempt, president of the Special Committee on Covid, the MEPs who are members of the said committee have taken the firm decision to summon Von Der Leyen to testify publicly on the vaccine contracts she signed with Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer.

“MEPs want to ask questions of Von Der Leyen regarding his role in negotiating massive Covid vaccine contracts estimated at billions of euros signed at the very start of the pandemic. She (Von Der Leyen) would have exchanged by SMS with Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer shortly before the signing of said contracts, ”informs  Politico .

In the letter consulted by the media, Kathleen Van Brempt explains the reasons why the President of the European Commission must testify publicly. “The European Union has spent enormous public resources in the production and purchase of vaccines during the pandemic. The Parliament has the right to obtain full transparency on the modalities of this expenditure and on the negotiations which were held within the Parliament which led to this expenditure”, one can read.

It should be stressed that the decision to summon Von Der Leyen to testify before Parliament should come as no surprise. Because, on December 16, 07 deputies of the Greens had declared war on the President of the European Commission and her husband, Heiko Von Der Leyen, whose activities, financed in part by his wife, are causing a big controversy in Europe.

“We are particularly concerned at the sight of press articles in Italy and Germany concerning the commercial activity in EU countries, of Orgenesis Inc., an American company employing Mr. Heiko Von Der Leyen, husband of the President of the European Commission”, could we read in a letter posted on Twitter by the MEPs.

In the letter, the latter mentioned the recent scandal revealed, at the end of October, by  Lecourrier-du-soir.com  and mentioning the presence of Heiko Von Der Leyen in the supervisory committee of a foundation which received funding more than 300 million euros from the European Commission, headed by his wife, Ursula Von Der Leyen.

Faced with strong media pressure, Heiko Von Der Leyen had finally resigned from his post, but his company (Orgenesis Inc.) remains maintained within this foundation. A detail which did not escape the seven deputies who underlined it in their letter.

"According to Italian media, even though Mr. Von der Leyen has resigned from the foundation's supervisory board, Orgenesis Italy SRL continues to be part of the project and receives grants of up to 200,000 euros per year from the Italian Plan for recovery and resilience. The journalists also point out that Orgenesis Inc., and its European subsidiaries are not registered in the European Union's transparency register”, denounce the MEPs.

The seven MEPs evoke possible conflicts of interest. “The husband of the President of the European Commission assumes a leading managerial role as medical director and general manager in a private company, involved in projects financed or co-financed by European programs, therefore by public money. Questions from EU citizens and their representatives about possible conflicts are legitimate,” they point out.

MEPs, in their letter, also asked the Transparency Commissioner to carry out an investigation to determine whether the leadership positions of Mr Heiko Von der Leyen are compatible with the institutional role of his wife, Ursula Von Der Leyen .

As a reminder, on January 11, 2023, it was confirmed by the French MEP, Michèle Rivasi, that Pfizer is, for the moment, prohibited from accessing the premises of the European Parliament. This decision is a response to Albert Bourla, CEO of the laboratory who twice refused to come and testify before Parliament.


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- Source : Sheikh Dieng

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