Political debate around Digital Green Certificates continues as border restrictions ease

While vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 continue across Europe, the situation at the borders of Member states is looking better. Countries such as Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands are loosening controls, and Greece has fully reopened its borders to attract tourism. On the other hand, six countries still have active border controls due to COVID-19 in the Schengen Area: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, and Norway.

However, the situation is not uniform even in these regions, such as Finland postponing the opening of its borders from May to June, while Hungary and Austria are expected to reopen their borders in the next few days.

Meanwhile,  the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union discussions on the European Commission’s proposal to establish the so-called ‘Digital Green Certificates’ was agreed on Thursday 20 May (renamed as EU-wide COVID certificates). The proposal aims to allow vaccinated citizens to travel in Europe without restrictions.

Each certificate issued would contain a QR code with a digital signature to prevent forgery. These signatures would be readable in all Member states through a gateway created by the Commission and linked to national health systems. The purpose is to approve the measure as soon as possible, to be deployable in June, but it has not yet reached final approval in Parliament and the Council, since there is division on some key points.

Truck and coach drivers have also voiced their opinions in this situation, asking the World Health Organisation and national governments for fast-track vaccination and digital vaccination certification valid worldwide to avoid the inconvenience of constant border controls.

This measure would facilitate the flow function of the Single Market, as well as avoiding disruptions on the supply chains that would negatively impact automotive businesses.


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