EU Parliament fast-tracks procedure to adopt Covid certificate by June

At their mini-plenary in Brussels, MEPs decided to accelerate the approval by June of the Digital Green Certificate, which aims to facilitate safe and free movement inside the EU during the pandemic. 

Lawmakers supported using the Rule 163, urgency procedure by 468 votes in favour, 203 against and 16 abstentions. This procedure allows for faster parliamentary scrutiny of the Commission’s proposals.

Plenary will adopt its mandate for negotiations with Council, which may include amendments to the Commission’s proposal, during the next plenary session in April.

We need the Digital Green Certificate to re-establish our confidence in the Schengen zone while continuing to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, the Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee commented after the vote.

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, he said adding that citizens’ data must be safe and only necessary data should be included in the certificate.

According to the Commission proposal, this could include information on whether a traveller has been vaccinated against Covid-19, a test result, and information on recovery from a Covid-19 infection.

Many deputies highlighted the need to have strong data protection safeguards on personal and medical data, and stressed that those who have not been vaccinated must not face discrimination.

However, the issue of the extremely high Covid-19 test prices across the EU remains.

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