EU fast-tracks procedure to approve ‘vaccination passports’ by June
Share article:
Share article:

EU fast-tracks procedure to approve ‘vaccination passports’ by June

Credit: Belga

The European Parliament has launched an accelerated procedure to fast-track the approval of the Digital Green Certificate – commonly known as vaccination passports – for safe travel within the EU before summer.

This week, MEPs supported using the urgency procedure (468 votes in favour, 203 against and 16 abstentions), meaning they can look at the Commission’s proposal for the certificate faster – with President Ursula von der Leyen stating it could be adopted by June.

“The certificate cannot be a precondition for free movement as this is a fundamental right in the European Union, and it cannot lead to discrimination against those individuals who do not hold one,” Juan Fernando López Aguilar, chair of the civil liberties committee, said after the voting results were announced.

He also highlighted that strong data protection is necessary, for both personal and medical data, adding that “citizen’s data must be safe, and only necessary data should be included.”

According to the Commission proposal, the certificate would only contain the key information that is necessary to guarantee its “authenticity, integrity and validity.”

This will include the name and date of birth of the holder, the Member State in which the certificate was issued and a unique identifier, as well as the necessary info on whether a traveller has been vaccinated against Covid-19, a Covid-19 test result, and information on recovery from a Covid-19 infection.

Belgian MEP Tom Vandenkendelaere told the Belga news agency that “There is no time to waste if we want to make travel possible by the summer.”

Related News:


In recent months, the travel pass was pushed by several – mostly southern – Member States whose economy relies heavily on travel and tourism, such as Greece.

Belgium, however, remained more hesitant as Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès stressed that such a certificate should not grant privileges to those who have already been vaccinated when there is no universal access to vaccines yet.

Last week, De Croo said that the authorities will look into how the certificate can be used for people in Belgium, “and whether we can move towards a similar approach for travel to third countries, outside the European Union.”

A unified European approach, rather than a dispersed order, would be “good to have,” he said, adding that, aside from the privacy aspect, he also wants to make sure that the certificate remains based on scientific insights.

More info on the Commission proposal for the certificate can be found here.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Belgian Health Minister wants pharmacists to administer vaccines
Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has said he wants to change Belgium's law to allow pharmacists to administer Covid-19 vaccines against, ...
Ruined photos from flood victims restored for free
Much of what victims of this summer’s deadly flooding lost is irreplaceable, but when it comes to photographs that were ruined, a Brussels company is ...
New Belgian video game aims to help children who stutter
A new video game by Belgian-American start-up Say It Labs aims to teach children with a stutter various techniques to improve their speech.  ...
More than 1 in 4 Belgians use mobile phones whilst driving
A recent European study into the use of mobile phones whilst driving highlights some alarming results: 26% of Belgians read or send messages on their ...
Belgium in Brief: Memories Of Masks
Belgium's experts are concerned with the rising coronavirus figures. One possible solution could be that, once again, masks are used more widely. ...
Museum Night Fever returns to Brussels on Saturday night
After a break last year, Museum Night Fever 2021 is back again with free visits to 32 museums hosting performances, music and other events. The ...
More than €1.5 billion injected into SNCB
More than €1.5 billion in additional funding has been injected into the Belgian railways, Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet told the House ...
Non-vaccinated applicants no longer welcome at ZNA hospitals in Antwerp
The Antwerp hospital group ZNA is only taking on new employees who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to reporting from VRT. ...
Pharmacies prepare to administer more rapid antigen tests
From November, anyone presenting coronavirus symptoms for less than six days will be able to take a rapid antigen test in a pharmacy, announced the ...
Chocolate, Christmas, and cocaine
Do you consider yourself a news buff? Someone constantly on top of what's going on? Then maybe you have what it takes to ace The Brussels Times ...
Introduction of Covid Safe Ticket leads more in Brussels to get vaccinated
The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in the Brussels-Capital Region on 15 October seems to have led to a higher number of residents ...
More and more testimonies, and a second rally against sexual violence in Brussels
A second rally against sexual violence was held in the Brussels neighbourhood of Ixelles on Thursday evening, and a sister-rally was held ...