Jordan Bardella, the spokesperson for the French National Rally party, slammed the EU for its slowness in tackling the coronavirus and compared its failures with the successes of the UK. Mr Bardella called for more powers to be given to EU member-states to carry out their own vaccine programmes to combat the virus. It comes as the UK has vaccinated over 12 million people and is fast approaching its 15 million target.
Speaking to the European Parliament, Mr Bardella said: “Since the beginning of the health crisis, European technocracy has been completely incompetent.
“(It has) failed on ordering masks, ordering tests, protecting borders and the European Commission was also supposed to manage vaccines and has the right (powers) to do so but is inconsistent.
“Now you carried out negotiations and that has meant that people do not believe in one of the major exit doors to this crisis.
“Meanwhile in the UK has been able to vaccinate more than ten million people, Hungary has decided to go beyond what you have told them to do and to order the Russian vaccine.
“The Russian vaccine that you have decided to ignore for sad ideological reason.
“Every single minute we are behind because of Brussels is a minute that means we are going to have huge human and social consequences.
“Too frequently your union, that has caused such weakness, this period means that we have to question your big political and economic guidelines.
“We know that this is deplorable and (you must) give power back to the nations.”
The EU Commission has been criticised for its poor rollout of vaccines in Europe.
Disagreements between pharmaceutical companies, like AstraZeneca, led to limitations on vaccine exports from the continent.
It also caused the triggering of Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol so a hard border could be installed.
The move was widely criticised and was quickly rescinded.