The European Parliament will also be considering tomorrow a digital travel pass, which will allow us to travel freely in Europe this summer despite the pandemic. The pass, the EU COVID-19 certificate, takes the form of a QR code which will soon have to be read by all EU countries.
With this QR code, the traveller can prove either to have been vaccinated, tested negatively, or already resistant after a recent infection. Because it is not just about being vaccinated or not, it was decided in Brussels not to mention a vaccination passport.
The vast majority of the European Parliament believes that the certificate should be issued. “I think that this really gives people the opportunity to move more freely and at the same time help us to contain the virus,” says Sophie in‘t Veld, MEP for D66.
Parties such as JA21 and the SGP are less positive and vote against the certificate. “A distinction is made between people who have or have not had a vaccine. Who may or may not have had the disease and people who have been tested positive or negative. That’s discrimination. That never happened, and we do not want that in Europe,” says Rob Rooken, MEP of JA21.
This position is wrong with Jeroen Lenaers, CDA MEP: “To be honest, I have to laugh very hard at this. I think that‘s such a bullshit‘, he says. “These are hypocritical people, precisely because our proposal will guarantee freedom of movement in Europe.”
After a year gone
The European Parliament wants the certificate to disappear after a year, unless it turns out that by then the coronavirus is still not under control. There is also a proposal to make PCR tests free of charge and, if that is not successful, set a maximum of the price for test. But the European Commission has said that it sees little room for these proposals because pricing is a question of the free market.
Next week, the EU countries, the European Commission and the European Parliament will discuss the certificate. The aim is to provide broad experimentation with the QR code in June and that all Member States have such a certificate available by July.