EU Parliament Introduces Vaccine Certificates

EU Parliament Introduces Vaccine Certificates

With a vaccination certificate, travelling within the EU should become more uniform and easier. The EU Parliament has spoken out in favour of introducing it – negotiations with the EU states could, however, be complex.

The European Parliament voted on Wednesday evening for the introduction of an EU-wide vaccination certificate. A large majority voted for the certificate, also known as the “green EU passport”.

Vaccinated, convalescent and negatively tested people are to be partially exempted from measures when travelling within the EU, as announced in Brussels. The certificate is to be introduced by June and will be valid in all EU countries. The certificate should prove vaccinations against the coronavirus, current negative test results and survived Covid diseases, electronically and in paper form.

However, the MEPs had previously made significant changes to the draft law, which could lead to difficulties in the upcoming negotiations with the EU member states.

For example, parliament calls for people who have been proven to be vaccinated or tested negative when crossing borders within the EU to no longer be subject to quarantine or testing obligations. The EU states, however, do not want this to be prescribed. The MPs also want to rule out vaccines without EU approval in principle.

Parliament’s call for free corona tests is also likely to be controversial. It wants to prevent discrimination against non-vaccinated citizens and discrimination on economic grounds. However, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders had already rejected the cross-party demand in plenary on Wednesday. Tests should be affordable, but questions such as reimbursement of the cost of tests were a matter for the Member States.

The parliament has thus determined its position for the upcoming negotiations with the EU states on the details of the planned certificate. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke on Twitter of an essential step towards free and safe travel this summer.

Photo by Jernej Furman/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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