The European Commission sees no reason why Member States, including the Netherlands, cannot start on 1 July with the covid certificate that makes travel within the EU easier. Prime Minister Rutte suggested last Saturday that the system will not be ‘delivered‘ until 21 June and that countries will then have “up to six weeks to implement it nationally”. The Netherlands will try to keep that time as short as possible, Rutte said.
This reading is rejected by the European Commission. “The Commission does not require a period of implementation. We know that a number of Member States have asked for it in the negotiations currently under way, but no decision has yet been taken,” says a committee spokesman. “We are fully on track on our side. We will be ready on June 1st, and from that moment on countries will be able to use the system. Most of them will do that in mid-June”.
The Netherlands participates in test
Today, a test begins with the technical side of the system involving 18 EU Member States. According to the European Commission, the Netherlands will test as of tomorrow. “This will allow Member States to work with the system and ensure that they are ready when the system is delivered at the end of June”. In the opinion of the European Commission, there is therefore no need for an additional six week implementation period.
technical side of the system works as follows: Member States must provide citizens eligible for the Covid Pass with a QR code. This code must then be able to be stored or printed by citizens in an (possibly national) app. Member States must have the control app to verify validity.
The negotiations on the political questions are proceeding well, according to the European Commission. They don‘t share Rutte’s doubt. On Saturday, the demissionary Prime Minister said that “it is only waiting to see if that date will be met”.
Rutte and the Commission are referring to triangular negotiations between the Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament. It will decide which vaccines are eligible for a COVID travel pass, how long a negative test certificate is valid and whether and how Member States can impose additional rules on people who register at a border with a valid QR code.