MEP Urmas Paet said he expects Europe to be more effectively ready to produce goods of critical importance in the future in order to reduce its excessive dependence on China.
"The global coronavirus pandemic has shown that the usual supply chains are fragile during a crisis," Paet wrote on social media. "For example, Europe found itself in a situation of being vitally dependent on Chinese medical protective equipment production," he added.
"If, due to the crisis, the factories and borders there were to be closed and the necessary products did not reach Europe on time, there would be trouble here. Just take the lack of protective masks and other medical protective equipment, for example, which has created a situation where dishonest techniques are being used to obtain masks. For example, Germany accused the United States of a new kind of piracy, in that Germany ordered protective masks, but these were confiscated at Bangkok airport and sent to the United States instead," the MEP said.
"The current crisis has shown that the European Union must be able to produce enough goods of critical importance on its own, even if it costs a little more than what is made in China," Paet said.
"We now need to rethink here in Europe what is included among such products of critical importance, regarding which we must not depend on third countries. Definitely at the top of the list are medical supplies and medicinal products. But quite a bit more, too," he added.
Editor: Anders Nõmm