Over fifty years after the Thalidomide tragedy, in which a German-made morning sickness medicine for pregnant women caused malformations in their babies in several EU countries, victims are still fighting for fair compensation. MEPs call on the EU and its member states to ensure that all EU citizens affected have access to similar compensation, in a resolution voted on in December 2016.
MEPs urge the EU member states and Commission to coordinate actions and measures to recognise and provide compensation to Thalidomide survivors, in a non-binding resolution passed by a show of hands.
The German Federal Government should allow victims access to the Special Health Fund set up in Germany, as the country bears a particular responsibility, they say.
They ask that thalidomide survivors from the UK, Spain, Italy, Sweden and other member states be admitted to the scheme on a group basis, provided that their status as Thalidomide-affected individuals has been accepted as bona fide in their own countries.
The EU Commission should create a framework protocol at EU level, under which all EU citizens affected by Thalidomide would receive similar amounts of compensation, and draw up an EU programme of assistance and support to victims and their families, say MEPs.
Independently-verified research shows that in 1970, the German Federal Republic interfered with the criminal proceedings against Chemie Grünenthal GmbH, the German manufacturer of Thalidomide, and, as a result, no proper determination of the manufacturer’s guilt could be established. Moreover, steps were taken to prevent civil proceedings against this company, say MEPs.
MEPs also ask the Spanish authorities to review the process started by the government in 2010 and facilitate the proper identification and compensation of Thalidomide survivors.