Renew Europe MEPs propose a number of free tests for Covid travel passport
Sophie in ’t Veld: Freedom of movement is not a commodity for the rich onlyEuropost , Brussels
As work on the legislative proposal for the Digital Green Certificate, also known as Covid travel passport, is under way in the European Parliament, the Renew Europe Group wants to make sure all Europeans have equal access to such document. This should include measures to ensure the affordability of Covid testing.
According to the Commission’s proposal, the certificate in digital or paper format would be proof that a person has been either vaccinated against Covid-19, received a negative test result, or already recovered from the disease. The document should be free.
While vaccination is mostly free of charge, the price of testing can be very high. In combination with certification requirements, this might well create inequalities among Europeans and unnecessary obstacles to free movement and this situation we need to avoid, Renew Europe MEPs said.
Renew Europe wants to table a resolution on the cost of Covid tests to accompany the Digital Green certificate.
Dacian Cioloş Renew Europe President, underscored that the possibility for everyone to regain their freedom to travel will be one of the main signs for European citizens of a return to normality.
It would be unfair to reserve this right only for those who can afford it, he stressed noting that it is therefore essential that the price of Covid tests is accessible to as many people as possible. “Let's not create new inequalities," the leader of the group urged.
LIBE-coordinator Sophie in ’t Veld emphasized that freedom of movement is not a commodity for the rich only. Therefore, we propose a number of free tests for each citizen, and a temporary price cap, she announced recalling that “Europe has capped the price of essential goods before, from roaming costs to credit card fees”.
In March, plenary agreed to deal with the legislative proposals on the certificate under the EP’s urgent procedure (Rule 163), which allows for faster parliamentary scrutiny of Commission’s proposals, while fully respecting the Parliament’s democratic prerogatives.
EU legislators are expected to adopt their mandate for negotiations with the Council, which may include amendments, in the plenary session next week.