Associates of Europe mentioned the well being disaster had already overwhelmed Ms von der Leyen’s presidency of the European Fee and undermined the credibility of the bloc itself in addition to placing any future European integration in danger. Director Giles Merritt warned Ms von der Leyen should cease repeating the identical errors and urged her to tone down her assaults on Boris Johnson and the British drug agency AstraZeneca.
Mr Merritt mentioned: “President Von der Leyen cuts a sympathetic image on the lectern; she is articulate and has received widespread recognition as figurehead of the EU’s efforts to comprise COVID-19.
“However that’s not her function – she shouldn’t be standing in entrance of the media.
“Her job is to be the fee’s chief strategist, not its spokesperson.”
Mr Merrit mentioned Ms von der Leyen ought to have appointed a number of commissioners to steer a tactical power to deal with the disaster when the sheer scale of the pandemic turned clear a 12 months in the past.
And he mentioned she ought to have sacked the Eurocrats who mishandled vaccine procurement on behalf of the EU’s member states.
Mr Merrit mentioned the EU chief ought to name a right away halt to her disagreement with Boris Johnson and retreat from the sanctions and export bans levelled in opposition to AstraZeneca.
He mentioned: “The Fee president should cease repeating the identical errors.
“The approaching three years might save not solely her fame but in addition the fortunes of the EU.
“Europhiles usually communicate of the EU’s ‘tender energy’, however its’ ‘convening energy’ counts as a lot.
“But right here the Brussels establishments – and in current circumstances that mainly means the fee – have been inert.”
Mr Merrit mentioned the EU ought to now champion mechanisms for softening the pandemic’s longer-term impression, notably on rising markets which can be already drowning in debt.
He mentioned: “US President Joe Biden is preoccupied together with his home technique to comprise COVID-19 whereas additionally repairing deep rifts in American society.
“His administration lacks the bandwidth to deal with a extra worldwide method, however it might unstintingly help one masterminded by the European Union.
“That’s the prize throughout the EU’s grasp if Ursula von der Leyen can rally Europe’s heads of presidency to a worldwide Covid counter-attack.”