Commission moves ahead with vaccine certificates amidst conflicting views
Brussels (Brussels Morning) The European Commission today announced the launch of COVID-19 vaccination certificates, or “green digital certificates”, as they have been dubbed by President Ursula von der Leyen and the EC executive team.
The announcement came a day after the Council’s conference of health ministers, where member states exchanged views on the way ahead as they continue to cope with the pandemic.
The concept of a vaccination passport has divided opinion among EU member states. Most tourism-dependent countries like Greece, Portugal and Spain back the concept while other member states including Belgium, France and Germany question whether such a move infringes on fundamental rights.
“Europe is moving forward with our proposal”,Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said as he congratulated those responsible for the outcome.
In detailing the long-waited certificates, von der Leyen said that they will be designed to “show a state whether the person has either been vaccinated, has recently had a negative test or has already recovered from antibodies”.
The digital documents are expected to be up and running by the summer.
The Commission’s chief said that the certificate will be mutually recognised across member states, the intention being to help EU countries reinstate freedom of movement in order to revive the tourism sector and help steer the economy back on track.
“The prosperity of our economies is dependent on vaccination”, von der Leyen declared.