Tag Archives: Ursula von der Leyen

From top: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is accused of keeping secret text messages with Pfizer’s CEO; EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly

This afternoon.

Via MailOnline:

An official EU watchdog has slammed Ursula von der Leyen for keeping secret text messages with Pfizer’s CEO about purchasing Covid vaccine doses, saying it ‘constituted maladministration’.

The EU ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, issued a formal recommendation telling von der Leyen’s office to search for and hand over the texts under a freedom of information request lodged by a journalist.

In April last year, the New York Times revealed that EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla had exchanged text messages and calls about vaccine procurements for EU countries.

The European Commission chief used ‘personal diplomacy’ to secure the deal for 1.8billion Pfizer vaccines via texts with the CEO, the paper revealed.

Journalist Alexander Fanta of news site netzpolitik.org then asked the Commission for access to the text messages and other documents, but the executive branch did not provide them.


EU watchdog accuses Ursula von der Leyen of ‘maladministration’ and orders her to hand over secret texts she sent to Pfizer’s CEO (MailOnline)


President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen

This afternoon.

Via RTÉ News:

The President of the European Commission has said it is her personal view that there should be a discussion at EU level on the idea of mandatory vaccination for Covid-19.

Ursula von der Leyen said that with 66% of the entire population vaccinated, that still meant 150 million people, or one third of the population, were still unvaccinated.

Talks on mandatory vaccination should happen – Von der Leyen (RTÉ)





This morning.

The European Parliament Strasbourg, France.

Von der Leyen warns against ‘pandemic of the non-vaccinated’ (RTÉ)


Today’s Irish Daily Mail


Give that man a booster.

Earlier: David Langwallner: On The Question Of Vaccination


This morning.

TU Dublin,  Grangegorman, Dublin 7.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who is visiting the former mental asylum-turned technological university to announce Ireland’s portion of the latest European ‘covid stimulus’ package.  Suitable location, in fairness.


Leah Farrell/RollingNews


Ursula von der Leyen snubbed in chair gaffe at EU-Erdoğan talks (The Guardian)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

This morning.

Further to the European Commission’s decision to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol without consulting Dublin….

Via RTÉ News:

[EC President Ursula von der Leyen said] “The bottom line is that mistakes were made in the process leading up to the decision and I deeply regret that. But in the end we got it right.

“I can reassure you that my commission will do its utmost to protect the peace of Northern Ireland, just as it has done throughout the entire Brexit process.”

…she strongly defended the EU’s decision to negotiate vaccine doses as one bloc, instead of individual member states going it alone.

“I cannot even imagine what would have happened if just a handful of big players, big member states had rushed to it and everyone else had been left empty-handed,” she told MEPs….


EC chief ‘deeply regrets’ mistakes over Article 16 (RTÉ)

Previously: I Von Der Who It Was



European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

This afternoon.

Who triggered Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol without consulting Dublin?

Via Tony Connelly at RTÉ News:

…Several well-placed sources are of the firm view that the text was drafted by an official within the UK Task Force, ie, Michel Barnier’s team.

…The sources say this was not a collective effort by the Task Force, and that Barnier himself, and his chief advisers who were involved in both the Withdrawal Agreement and the recently concluded trade negotiations, were not in the loop.

As such, the belief is that the individual who drafted the text did so at the direction of Ms von der Leyen’s cabinet.

However, another senior Commission source strongly denies this suggestion…

…Whoever was involved at the last minute on Friday, the first Dublin found out about the paragraph was when it broke in the media, around 4pm Irish time. Senior officials in the Department of the Taoiseach had been working on the travel issue when phones began going off…

The vaccines, the Commission and the NI Protocol: What went wrong? (Tony Connelly, RTE)



The U.K. was expecting the letter and the European Commission sends dozens of such notices to member states each month over various instances of alleged breaches of EU law. An exchange of letters and explanations follow, before some of these cases reach the EU’s courts.

It’s not unusual for the EU to take legal action against countries and as soon as the U.K. acknowledged that its plan was in breach of the Withdrawal Agreement, such a move became inevitable.

But officials on both sides say privately that they don’t want it to overshadow negotiations on a future trade deal. They hope that if they get an agreement on that, fuss over the legal action will quietly fade into the background.

EU to Start Legal Action Against U.K. on Internal Market (Bloomberg)


U-turn of you want to…

…Der Leyen’s not for turning.

“We will never backtrack on that. This agreement has been ratified by this House and by the House of Commons.

“It cannot be unilaterally changed, disregarded or disapplied. This is a matter of law and trust and good faith.”

Ms von der Leyen quoted the former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher: “Britain does not break treaties. It would be bad for Britain, bad for relations with the rest of the world, and bad for any future treaty on trade”.

She added: “This was true then, and this is true today. Trust is the foundation of any strong partnership.


EU chief says EU will ‘never backtrack’ on Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (RTÉ)

European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen

This morning.

She’s really Leyen down Der law.

Suit yourselves.