The European Parliament gives the green light to the COVID digital certificate

The European Parliament has approved the digital certificate of the coronavirus to allow travelers to verify their health situation. Also known as “passport” COVID, it went ahead by 546 votes in favor, 93 against and 51 abstentions. It represents a new step in the legislative process for this document to enter into force on July 1. The COVID digital certificate will allow to know if the citizen has been vaccinated, if he has overcome the disease or if he has a negative PCR. The aim is for the mobility of Europeans to take off this summer season.

“After a record time of negotiations, less than two months, we have succeeded”, has pointed out the Spanish socialist MEP Juan Fernando López Aguilar, rapporteur of the text that, according to him, “revive the freedom of movement of European citizens”.

French centrist Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé has pointed out that “It is the European answer to end the mosaic of different norms.”

It is already being used in several countries

Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Spain have started broadcasting them. In France, the COVID “passport” takes effect on Wednesday. In fact, according to the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, more than a million certificates have already been issued during these first days of testing. “And many more will do so in the coming weeks and months,” he pointed out.

The digital certificate is free

The documents are available in digital or paper format, and are intended to avoid quarantines in destination countries.

In addition to allowing the entry of tourists from European countries within the countries of the Old Continent, it also opens the doors to tourists from other countries outside the European Union (EU) who are vaccinated and have a certificate.

The COVID digital certificate can also be used for other purposes such as leisure, festivals, sporting events, concerts, musicals, plays, etc.

It will help simplify event entry processes.

Despite a large vote in favor, several MEPs expressed reservations about the protection of personal data. The French MEP of the Greens Michèle Rivasi stressed that “It opens up a new risk in terms of traceability.” What’s more, “This certificate is not consolidated by the fact that the tests are free (…), thus opening the way to the risk of discrimination”

The European Parliament has approved financing of 100 million euros to test that also allow obtaining the digital certificate, an insufficient amount for MEPs who are in favor of its free.