European Council President Charles Michel is in favour of a debate on a proposed certificate of vaccination against the novel Coronavirus, but sees a danger in introducing such a measure too quickly.
“That would create enormous frustration,” Michel said on Sunday during the ‘Buitenhof’ discussion programme on Dutch public channel NPO.
The idea of creating a vaccination passport was tabled early last week by Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Mr. Mitsotakis, who wants to relaunch his country’s important tourism sector as soon as possible after the pandemic crisis, does not want to make vaccination an explicit condition for travelling. However, he pointed out that a guarantee of unhindered travel could motivate people to opt for a vaccine.
Charles Michel said he understood that the issue was a sensitive one since some people could have the impression that vaccination would, de facto, become compulsory. However, he said on Sunday, “it’s not because a debate is complicated or sensitive that you must avoid it.”
According to the European Council president, the debate will be launched this week. Informal discussions between the leaders of European Union countries have been going on over the past few weeks, he said, focussing basically on two questions: “Do we agree on the principle of introducing a certificate?” and, “If we agree, when is it appropriate?”
A vaccination passport would require many people to have already been vaccinated, according to Mr. Michel. “If we had to implement it too early, that would create enormous frustration,” he commented.