Member States agree on technical specifications of Covid passport

To ensure a roll-out of Digital Green Certificates by June, the implementation and the legislative process should go in parallel

Photo: EU Commission's Berlaymont Building in Brussels.

Member States representatives in the eHealth Network agreed on guidelines on the Commission's proposal for a Digital Green Certificate, describing the main technical specifications for the implementation of the system. 

The eHealth Network is a voluntary setup made up of the European Commission and the national eHealth authorities designated by the Member States.

According to the Commission, this is a crucial step for the establishment of the necessary infrastructure at EU level. Member States are encouraged to swiftly roll out the needed technical solutions at national level.

For the EU executive, it is of utmost importance to advance the work on the technical implementation, in parallel to the ongoing legislative process, to ensure a roll-out of Digital Green Certificates across the EU by June this year.

The agreed technical specification covers data structure and encoding mechanisms, including the QR code, which will ensure that all certificates, whether digital, or on paper, can be read and verified across the EU.

The guidelines also describe the EU gateway, set up by the Commission. It will allow the sharing of electronic signature keys so that the authenticity of Digital Green Certificates can be verified across the EU.

No personal data of certificate holders will pass through the gateway, as this is not necessary for the verification.

The guidelines include as well reference implementations for software to issue Digital Green Certificates, a reference app to verify certificates and a template for a wallet app for citizens to store them.

While it will be for Member States to set up these systems at national level, the reference implementations will help speed up deployment as Member States will be able to build on them.

The next step on the technical side is the set-up of national infrastructure, the roll-out of national solutions for issuing, verifying and storing Digital Green Certificates, and the set-up of the EU gateway.

After a piloting phase in May, the EU gateway should be ready as of June for Member States to connect.


More on this subject: Coronavirus

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