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Brussels trade and competition lawyers questioned the wisdom of invoking what was supposed to be a measure of last resort. Photo: Hans Pennink/AP

With mounting pressure on EU officials to ramp up vaccinations across the 27-member bloc, the European Commission took the drastic step last week of introducing export controls on vaccines made in EU factories.

In the same breath, the Commission also announced it would invoke an emergency measure in the Northern Ireland Protocol, the agreement that allows for the free flow of goods on the island of Ireland post-Brexit. The move was seen as a bid to ensure that British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca would not send unauthorized vaccine shipments to the U.K. through Northern Ireland. 

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Linda A. Thompson

Linda A. Thompson is the Brussels-based correspondent for Law.com International. She writes about legal and regulatory issues related to the EU and the European Commission, as well as about lawyers and legal issues in Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. Her coverage includes the business of law at global and domestic law firms and in-house legal departments. and the impact of regulatory decisions on law firms and global companies. She can be reached at [email protected]

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