October 23, 2012 – Brussels – AJC welcomes the European Parliament’s decision to give its consent to ACAA, a technical agreement between the EU and Israel designed to facilitate pharmaceutical trade, by a margin of 379 in favor to 230 against.
“After over two years of unnecessary delays and stall tactics, European lawmakers were finally given their democratic right to vote on ACAA and a clear majority rightly chose to give their consent,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute in Brussels.
“At its core, this was not a debate on the merits of the agreement. This was about politics,” Schwammenthal added. “Some Members of the European Parliament were putting their disagreements with Israel ahead of their obligations to ensure their constituents had fast access to the best and most affordable healthcare.”
The European Council, the body comprised of the heads of the 27 Member States, agreed to the ACAA protocol back in March 2010 and it was referred to the European Parliament for its consent. The file sat in the Parliament’s Committee on International Trade for over two years until a vote was held on September 18, 2012, in which a majority of deputies gave their consent.
“Israeli pharmaceutical companies are at the cutting edge of research, finding innovative treatments that help save lives and reduce suffering. What’s more, through their leadership in the generics market, Israeli medicines help healthcare providers reduce spending while maintaining high quality standards,” noted Schwammenthal. “ACAA is simply about the interests of European patients.”