The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced this Monday that during the month of March it plans to present a legislative proposal to create a “green digital passport“Covid-19 valid throughout the EU, whose objective is to recover mobility and facilitate travel after the pandemic. Brussels wants this proposal to be approved and operational by the summer, to save the tourist season.
The new document will serve as proof to prove that a person has received the puncture against Covid-19, but may also include PCR test results for people that have not yet been vaccinated or information that the holder has passed the disease and has recovered and therefore has natural immunity. In this way, Von der Leyen pretends calm concerns about the risk of “discrimination” wielded by countries such as France or the Netherlands.
“The proposal will respect data protection, security and privacy“The president of the Community Executive wrote on her Twitter account.” The ‘green digital passport’ should make life easier for Europeans. The aim is to gradually allow them to move safely within the EU or abroad, for work or tourism, “he added.
We’ll present this month a legislative proposal for a Digital Green Pass. The aim is to provide:
•Proof that a person has been vaccinated
•Results of tests for those who couldn’t get a vaccine yet
•Info on COVID19 recovery
It will respect data protection, security & privacy
– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) March 1, 2021
“If we want the Covid-19 ‘green passport’ to be ready by the summer, Member States will have to make rapid progress in preparations and deployment,” the Commission spokesperson explained later. Christian Wiegand, at a press conference. The Member States have already reached a first agreement on the data to be included in this document on vaccination.
“The Commission is working on a legal proposal on this ‘digital green passport’, which is scheduled for March. The aim is to work to facilitate safe free movement in the European Union. On the best way to use these certificates in a context of border crossing, apart from vaccination we will also examine other categories of information in order to avoid discrimination, such as test results or recovery statements, “says the spokesperson.
Von der Leyen’s announcement comes after the videoconference of EU heads of state and government held last week. There, Greece, Spain and the rest of the southern countries highly dependent on tourism they demanded a vaccination passport to facilitate travel without PCR testing or quarantines.
Other leaders, such as the French Emmanuel Macron or the Dutch Mark Rutte, expressed doubts about this initiative, alleging above all the risk of discrimination against people who have not yet been vaccinated. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who until then was on the side of the skeptics, changed his position and took the passport for the summer for granted.
The initiative of the Community Executive aims achieve consensus between the two opposing sides by combining in the same digital document the information on vaccination, but also on PCR tests or natural immunity. At the same time, Brussels admits that there is still not enough data on whether vaccinated people can continue to spread the virus, a question that it says it will take into account in preparing its legal proposal.
The vaccination passport was also discussed this Monday during a videoconference of tourism ministers. There, the minister Reyes Maroto has argued that “certificates are a useful and effective tool to safely resume mobility“, as reported by his department in a statement.
“It is important to have the tools ready to start mobility and put Europe back as a safe travel destination as soon as the data on the incidence of the virus allow it, “says Maroto.
The Minister of Tourism has also demanded “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 trust among travelers“.
Maroto has asked the Commission to develop “an ambitious program for the recovery of community tourism under the new budgetary framework, which allows Europe to continue to be a reference for tourism throughout the world “.