Europe is seriously considering a Covid-19 vaccination passport to return to travel
The European Union is seriously thinking about a European vaccination passport to allow the resumption of travel for tourism, and not only, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The pass, already presented by the EU Commission and waiting to reach the European Parliament for discussion and final approval, is called the Digital Green Certificate and should enter into force from June. The objective of the European vaccination passport is therefore to facilitate free movement within the EU by preventing the spread of the virus. But how? By reserving the granting of the ‘Covid pass’ to three categories of potentially safe people: people already immunized with one of the vaccines authorized in the 27 EU countries (currently Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and, shortly, Johnson & Johnson); people who have performed a negative anti-Covid test in the days immediately preceding the trip; and those who have already contracted the Coronavirus and recovered.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, a staunch supporter of the passport, said she wanted to reach the target of 70% of the EU population over 18 vaccinated by the summer. Which would mean a huge audience interested in the Digital Green Certificate. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has encouraged European institutions via Twitter to adopt the vaccine passport for travel. On the popular social media, von der Leyen wrote that “digital certificates will help us resume safe and free travel in the EU. Our goal is to make them operational by the summer. I invite the European Parliament and the Council to adopt our proposal and the EU countries to create the necessary infrastructures without delay “.
In reality, the appeal of the President of the Commission comes a week after the European Parliament has already voted on the matter, asking in turn the Commission and the European Council to give the green light to the digital certificate. The vote dates back to 25 March, which saw 468 MEPs in favor, 203 against, and 16 abstentions, with which the urgent proposal to the Commission was formulated to facilitate the adoption by the summer of the so-called “Covid-Pass”, Which would provide some information on travelers such as Covid-19 vaccination, and/or a recent negative COVID-19 test result, and/or any previous Ccovid-19 infections.
During the debate, several MEPs highlighted the need to introduce strong safeguards for the protection of personal and medical data and stressed that those who had not been vaccinated should not be discriminated against.
On the occasion, the president of the Commission for Civil Liberties (LIBE) Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar (S&D, ES) stated that “We need the Digital Green Certificate to restore our confidence in the Schengen area, while we continue the fight against the pandemic. COVID-19. The certificate cannot be a precondition for free movement, because this is a fundamental EU right, and it cannot lead to discrimination against individuals who do not possess it. Citizen data must be protected and only the necessary data must be included in the certificate.”A rebound of solicitations is therefore underway, while European citizens, especially those vaccinated, are waiting to be able to move freely not only between member states but also across their country.