The EU could open up a ‘Pandora’s field’ of vaccine nationalism if it restricts exports, professor says

The European Union could open up a “Pandora’s box” if it decides to limit exports of coronavirus vaccines, a political analyst advised CNBC final week.

Vaccination drives within the 27-member bloc have been hindered by manufacturing points. Anglo-Swedish agency AstraZeneca earlier this yr reduce its first-quarter goal from 90 million doses to 30 million doses.

The shot, developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, is favored for the vaccine rollout within the European Union.

Officials have already imposed strict guidelines for exports. The EU will test if the receiving nation has the virus beneath higher management than Europe and whether or not it has limitations on vaccines or uncooked supplies earlier than permitting the photographs to be shipped.

Some EU nations, nevertheless, have issues concerning the new guidelines and wish provide chains to stay open.

There’s huge political strain … to start to experiment with a sort of vaccine nationalism.

James Crabtree

Associate professor in observe

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is “really struggling” as a result of different wealthy international locations are doing significantly better on vaccinations in comparison with the EU, mentioned James Crabtree, an affiliate professor in observe at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

“There’s enormous political pressure … to begin to experiment with a kind of vaccine nationalism,” Crabtree advised CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Friday.

“This is, of course, very dangerous because the EU is normally one of the most responsible international actors,” he mentioned.

‘Pandora’s field’

Heather Conley of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) famous that the U.Okay. and EU mentioned they’re working towards a “reciprocally beneficial relationship.”

Still, leaders in Europe are nervous about their political futures with some international locations going to the polls within the coming yr or so, mentioned Conley, who’s director of the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at CSIS.

“Political testiness of leaders and this hysteria about political futures will make the EU take steps that may work ultimately against their long-term interest of getting those vaccines into arms very quickly,” she advised CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Friday.

“I think the international harm that that would do to global vaccine production would be greater than the increased number of vaccines in the EU,” she mentioned.

A health care provider administers the Astrazeneca vaccine at a mass coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination drive-through clinic in Milan, Italy on March 15, 2021.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

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