Ursula Von Albert Bourla New York Eu Provident Action Pfizer Ursula Von Albert Bourla New York Eu

European Commission defiant over Von der Leyen’s Pfizer texts

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The European Commission has said it cannot and does not need to find text messages that its president, Ursula von der Leyen, exchanged with the boss of Pfizer at the height of the pandemic, fuelling its dispute with the EU’s internal watchdog.The commission’s defence of its right not to keep records of Von der Leyen’s text messages was published on Wednesday by the EU’s official watchdog, the European Ombudsman, which conducted an initial investigation after a complaint about transparency.In a sharp rebuke issued in January, the ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, accused the EU executive of maladministration.

She said text messages concerning EU policies and decisions should be treated as documents subject to EU transparency rules.The saga, known to critics as Deletegate, arose after the New York Times reported in April 2021 that Von der Leyen had exchanged text messages with the Pfizer chief executive, Albert Bourla, forging a relationship that unlocked lucrative deals for life-saving coronavirus vaccines.The commission later refused a freedom of information request from a journalist to provide the text messages, prompting an appeal to the ombudsman.The ombudsman’s initial report revealed that the commission had made no attempt to find the text messages.

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