The European Commission will send a letter to AstraZeneca as part of efforts to resolve a dispute with the Anglo-European company over its COVID-19 vaccine supplies to the bloc, an EU executive spokesman said thursday.
The company is required, under its contract with the EU, to deliver 300 million doses by the end of June, but last week said it only intended to send 100 million, due to production problems and export restrictions.
“We plan to send a letter to AstraZeneca that will allow us to start a dialogue with the company as part of a process to resolve the dispute,” the spokesman said at a press conference.
The spokesman said the letter was being prepared and would be discussed with EU governments before it was sent.
A second spokesman said the letter complied with Article 18.5 of the EU contract with AstraZeneca.
Under that article, in the event of a dispute, the two parties agreed to first seek to resolve the dispute through informal discussions initiated by letter.
The same article also says that the Brussels courts would be responsible for resolving any dispute that was not resolved by informal talks.
When asked whether the letter could be the beginning of a possible legal lawsuit against AstraZeneca, the Commission’s chief spokesman said: “Today we are taking a concrete step. We’ll see where it takes us.”