EU to present Covid-19 'vaccination passports' proposal in March

EU to present Covid-19 'vaccination passports' proposal in March
Brussels Airport. Credit: Belga

The European Commission will present a legislative proposal for a digital vaccination passport in March, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Monday.

In the proposal, it should become clear what the European passport, the so-called "Digital Green Pass" will look like. European government leaders agreed that vaccination passports can help to make travel safer, but added that such a passport should certainly not give vaccinated people any privileges.

Particularly Member States in southern Europe whose economy relies heavily on tourism, such as Spain, Italy and Greece, are pinning their hopes on a vaccination certificate for travellers.

According to von der Leyen, the passes will provide proof that a person has been vaccinated, or test results for those who could not get a vaccine yet, as well as info on Covid-19 recovery.

"It will respect data protection, security and privacy," she said, adding that the Digital Green Pass "should facilitate Europeans‘ lives."

"The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad - for work or tourism," von der Leyen added.

Last week, government leaders agreed that Member States will make the necessary technological preparations to share - minimum - vaccination data, by the summer.

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In the meantime, political and scientific questions are being further clarified, as von der Leyen said that "at the EU level, we will find a way to make the different national systems interoperable."

Despite the support of many EU leaders, Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo argued such a system should not be introduced too quickly, adding "it is not for tomorrow."

"It’s really not a good idea to start granting such privileges in this situation. Certainly not because the active population, the people who travel, are barely vaccinated," he said.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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