Belgian lobbyist Frédéric Baldan filed a criminal complaint against President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on 5 April 2023 for "usurpation of functions and title", "destruction of public documents", "illegal interests-taking and corruption". Subsequently, Hungary and Poland joined. However, at the initiative of new Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Warsaw announced that it was withdrawing its complaint.

Hungary and Poland are simultaneously being sued by Pfizer, this time for non-payment for doses ordered on their behalf by the European Commission. The Brussels court issued a first provisional judgment on 3 April 2023 and must now rule on the merits.

At stake in the complaint is the €20 billion, and potentially €35 billion, contract between the EU and the multinational pharmaceutical company Pfizer. In addition, millions of doses of anti-Covid mRNA drugs (mislabeled as "vaccines") worth $4 billion were lost.

The complaint centers on a text message exchange, revealed by The New York Times, between von der Leyen and Pfizer boss Albert Bourla.

Journalist Alexander Fanta ( tried in vain to get a copy of the text messages. Efforts by the EU Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, have failed. The New York Times has filed a complaint against Ursula von der Leyen under Articles 41 and 42 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which grant a right of access to documents of the European Parliament, Council and Commission.

A directive requires national public prosecutors to notify the European Public Prosecutor’s Office of cases for which they believe it could be competent. However, one year later, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) has still not responded to the notification submitted to it by the Brussels Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The laws do not impose any deadlines.

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) is not a community body, but a body of enhanced cooperation. Only 22 out of 28 states recognize it. But neither Hungary or Poland. Romania’s Laura Codruța Kövesi has been appointed Prosecutor General by the Commission following negotiations with the European Parliament.

The EC president’s husband, Heiko von der Leyen, has suddenly become a director of Orgenesis, a company that has played a central role in the EU’s vaccination campaign. Yet, Orgenesis and Pfizer have the same major shareholder. In 2022, the European Commission awarded €320 million in grants to Orgenesis. The revelation of these subsidies led Heiko von der Leyen to resign from his position.

This case comes as Ursula von der Leyen is seeking a second term at the helm of the European Commission.

This is the editorial from our paywalled "Voltaire, international newsletter", n°81. For more information, do not hesitate to subscribe: 150€ per year or 15€ per month.