EU greenlights COVID vaccine passport – with reserve



A pass linked to immunization: it is a common goal but difficult to implement until vaccines are available for everyone.

  1. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen insisted on the importance of “developing a European approach” to the vaccine passport system.
  2. “The political directive is to have the digital passport within the next 3 months,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  3. French President, Emmanuel Macron, who will meet next week with the members of the government to prepare the “health pass.”

COVID vaccine passport – the issue is popular and is, besides the rest, at the center of the European discussion. They talked it about during the European Council: “The political directive is to have the digital passport within the next 3 months,” said Angela Merkel, answering a question about when the vaccine passports should be ready in Germany and Europe.

Everyone would like to have them ready by the summer for obvious tourism reasons. “Everyone agreed we need a digital document that certifies the vaccine” continued the German Chancellor and that it is “compatible” in the various European countries.

“We expect them to be ready for the summer” but it will not happen that we cannot travel without it, she added: “A political decision on this has not been made.” Also, because children, for example, cannot yet be vaccinated against COVID.

Common approach

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen insisted on the importance of “developing a European approach” to the vaccine passport system.

“If we don’t succeed, the bilateral initiatives” of the Member States “will create even more difficulties” and even big companies like “Google and Apple are ready to offer solutions to the WHO,” but it is about sharing confidential information, so we want to say clearly we offer a European solution, warned von der Leyen.

Brussels will continue to dialogue with governments to “progress in this direction by March” added the EU leader, underlining that “the debate must take into account the risk of discrimination” and, at the same time, the fact that “for many EU countries, … tourism is extremely important from an economic and social point of view.”

Will we only travel after the vaccine?

Not exactly. This is also clarified by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, who will meet next week with the members of the government to prepare the “health pass,” which will not be a “vaccination passport,” in view of the reopening of places of culture and restaurants closed during the pandemic of COVID-19.

The creation of this new instrument “will pose many technical questions of respect for individual data, of the organization of our freedoms” said Macron, and for this “we must prepare it from now on technically, politically, legally.”

“I feel,” Macron said, “that there is a lot of confusion sometimes on this issue” but the health pass “will not be linked only to vaccination” he stressed. Since “if we manage to reopen some sites, we will not be able to condition their access to a vaccination, and among other things, we will not have opened vaccination to the youngest.”

“We must avoid,” Macron said after the discussion today with the leaders of the 27, “that each country develops its own system, working on a common medical certification.”

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