Zagreb, 14 April 2021 (Hina/MIA) – EU Ambassadors on Wednesday agreed on a common position on a proposal for regulating the introduction of digital green certificate, which should enable free movement during the coronavirus pandemic, the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU said.
“EU ambassadors today agreed a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on the proposal for a Digital Green Certificate. This certificate will facilitate safe and free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing proof that a person has either been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19,” the presidency said in a press release.
The legal framework of the Digital Green Certificate consists of two legislative proposals. The first concerns EU citizens and members of their families and the second concerns third-country nationals legally staying or legally residing in the territory of a member state.
According to these proposals, it will be possible to use the certificate across all EU member states. It will also be introduced in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The Digital Green Certificate will also be open to initiatives being developed globally.
Member states will have to recognise vaccines approved in the EU, and some member states can independently recognise other vaccines, such as Russia’s Sputnik V or China’s Sinovac.
According to the agreed position of the Council of the EU, the certificates cannot be a precondition for exercising free movement rights and they are not a travel document “in order to stress the principle of non-discrimination, in particular towards non-vaccinated persons.”
The European Parliament, the EU’s second legislative body, is due to agree on its position later this month, after which it will be able to start talks with the Council. The regulation is expected to be adopted by the end of June.
In mid-March, the European Commission proposed the introduction of a digital green certificate, a so-called COVID pass for smoother movement within the EU during the pandemic, which could save this year’s tourist season.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has been going on for more than a year, has led to the biggest global economic crisis since World War II, especially affecting tourism-reliant countries such as Croatia, Spain, Italy, Greece.