Thursday 29 April marks the adoption of the EU Parliament on the proposal for a digital green certificate, introduced on 17 March by the EU Commission, with 540 votes to 119 and 31 abstentions. The proposal on third-country nationals passed with 540 votes to 80 and 70 abstentions.
MEPs agreed that the (renamed) « EU Covid-19 certificate » should be in place for no longer than 12 months. As originally proposed by the Commission, the certificate would allow for the lifting of travel restrictions in a coordinated manner by providing digital proof that a person was vaccinated, has been tested or has recovered from Covid-19.
MEPs emphasised that the certificate should not allow for any discrimination. It must not serve as a travel document, nor should it become a precondition to exercise free movement. Moreover, certificates must be compatible with national initiatives, meaning that they should work alongside any initiative set up by a member state. Once the certificate comes into force, stated Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES), member states should avoid introducing any further restrictions.
As for data protection concerns, MEPs insisted that certificates be verified. Any personal data should not be stored in destination member states, and no central database established at EU level.
Finally, MEPs took the opportunity to underline the need for greater affordability of vaccines and for these to be allocated globally.
At this stage, both Parliament and Council will begin negotiations in the hopes of introducing the certificate in time for summer.