Brussels Speeds Up Vaccination Certificate To Boost Mobility

Brussels will present its proposal this month. This was announced by the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in a closed-door meeting with the CDU / CSU delegation in the European Parliament. After it has transpired, the head of the community Executive herself has tweeted: “We will present this month a legislative proposal for a Digital Green Pass. The objective is to be able to provide: proof that a person has been vaccinated; test results for those who have not yet been vaccinated; and information on the recovery from COVID-19. It will respect data protection, security and privacy. ” And he added: “The Digital Green Pass should make life easier for Europeans. The aim is to allow them to move gradually safely within the European Union or abroad, whether for work or tourism.”

The step forward of the European Commission comes after the summit of EU heads of state and government that was held at the end of last week by videoconference. In it, Von der Leyen herself urged governments to run if they wanted there to be certificates for the summer, at which time Spain and Greece, countries highly dependent on tourism, want to be able to put them into practice on a community scale to boost their economies.

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The Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, has insisted on this idea in the informal meeting of EU Tourism Ministers held this Monday, after which he has sent a press release and a statement without questions in which he has defended “that the Certificates are a useful and effective tool to resume mobility safely “. According to the note, the minister insisted in the meeting with her counterparts that “efforts be redoubled to ensure better coordination and communication of travel-related measures at the EU level in order to avoid discriminatory measures between citizens and regain confidence among travelers “. Maroto also insisted that “it is important to have the tools ready to start mobility and to put Europe back as a safe travel destination when the virus incidence data allow it”.

The initiative is to “facilitate travel in the EU, for work or pleasure, that people have something to show, with medical data related to COVID-19, with their status on whether they have taken a test, been vaccinated or if has antibodies, “explained community spokesman Eric Mamer:” We believe that, in collaboration with the WHO, there should be a way to scale this globally. We are working on a European solution now, and then anything else would have to come later. “.

From here on, it will be up to the Member States to decide whether or not that information regarding vaccination exempts PCR or quarantine tests, something that continues to divide the 27. In particular, France and the Benelux countries are the most refractory to the idea that a vaccinated person can get rid of tests or vaccines, while they affirm that it is not sufficiently proven that the vaccinated do not infect.

According to Moncloa, “the debate in the European Council on vaccination certificates has shown that there is increasing support for this type of digital document, with broad criteria that facilitate mobility in the EU.”

Von der Leyen, after the summit, said that it remains to be known “whether after vaccination the virus is still transmitted”, and stated that they are waiting for data from Israel in this regard: “We must agree on what kind of data is collected for medical purposes, and the Member States must apply it in their health and border systems, and we must coordinate the standards so that there is interoperability with the information. Information can be shared that a person has been vaccinated, has done a PCR or is immune. “

Von der Leyen said it will take “at least three months” to lay the technical foundation for vaccine certificates. “It is important so that expectations are not too high too early. Member States will need to act quickly if we want this certificate to be in force in the summer.”

“It is so elementary that I am sometimes struck by a certain theologization of the debate,” sources abound in the Executive, “as if the vaccination certificate made you a sinner or took you directly to heaven. It is simply a way of trying to speed up mobility at the time that the States decide. But first of all, have something that is internationally admissible and that is legible beyond the borders of the State that issues it “, sources from the Spanish Executive insist:” The reality is that it is not understandable that the European Union does not deal with this, because this is part of the economic recovery. Make no mistake about it. And it is not understandable that the European Union does not prepare the day after. What we are saying is basically to have a technical and material basis that allows us to eventually undertake, when the situation permits, a series of mobility facilitation measures based on criteria agreed upon by all “.

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