One step closer to an EU Covid-19 Certificate accessible to all citizens
The EU Covid-19 Certificate, which proves that a person has been vaccinated against, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19, is one step closer to becoming reality as the European Parliament today adopts its negotiating position.
Malik Azmani, First Vice-President of Renew Europe, says : “We are now hopeful that we will reach herd immunity in Europe by early summer with 70% of the adult population vaccinated. It is now essential to put in place the tools that will allow Europeans to travel again from this summer. This is the objective of the European covid19 certificate. It must be a standardised and easy-to-use document to facilitate border checks. This European covid19 certificate will only be effective if it is trusted by European citizens. This is an essential point for our political group »
Sophie in ‘t Veld, Shadow Rapporteur for the regulation, adds: "For more than a year now, we have been reminded what it was like before we could travel freely throughout Europe without borders. Now, it is time re-open Europe with a renewed appreciation for the freedom to travel. With this Digital Green Certificate we can open up in a safe way, that respects our fundamental rights and values as Europeans."
The regulation will be an essential part of restoring citizens' free and safe movement and securing millions of jobs across the EU. Renew Europe has fought hard to ensure that the European Parliament defends a regulation that is temporary as well as in line with security and privacy requirements. Our group has also achieved interoperability of the European Certificate with national digital certificates, meaning that Member States must make sure that any national certificates used within the own country also accept the EU Covid-19 certificate. Additionally, with this regulation, Member States shall not be allowed to set up further requirements, such as quarantine or additional testing for holders of an EU Covid-19 Certificate.
Lastly, all Europeans must have equal access to a certificate, and therefore, measures to ensure the affordability of Covid testing are essential. In the same way vaccination is primarily free of charge, we must make sure that testing is affordable. Otherwise, we risk creating inequalities among Europeans and unnecessary barriers to free movement. Tomorrow, the European Parliament is due to, by the initiative of Renew Europe, adopt a resolution calling for affordable and accessible tests in the whole EU.
Now the negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council can start. The deal is expected to be finalised and approved in June.