The European Parliament will today vote to adopt the agreement on the EU Digital Covid Certificate regulation. With the new framework, we will have a common EU-wide system to recognise certificates that will help re-establish the free and safe movement within the EU. Renew Europe has worked urgently to ensure that the certificates will be operational by summer and is pleased to have secured EU funding of 100 million euros for free testing to obtain the certificate for specific groups.
Dacian Cioloş, President of Renew Europe, says: "The EU digital covid certificate is the tool Europeans need to regain their mobility. It is of outmost importance for the millions of Europeans who cross borders on a daily basis for their work and also useful for those preparing their holidays. As we are steadily loosening restrictions and getting some of our freedoms back, we need to get the internal market back to normal quickly. It is essential that Member States implement this certificate responsibly, without adding administrative hassle that would undermine its effectiveness. We must ensure that the citizens are aware of the certificate and have easy access to it.”
Although Renew Europe pushed for a more ambitious European framework, we are pleased that citizens will have access to a single European certificate to travel freely within the EU again. However, for the EU Digital Covid Certificate to become the effective instrument requested by our citizens, Member States must take responsibility to avoid a patchwork of different measures. Therefore, Renew Europe once again calls on EU Member States to refrain from imposing any further travel restriction, such as quarantine or additional testing.
We also urge the Council to streamline the coordinated travel measures in line with the agreement on the EU Digital Covid Certificate and adopt the Council Recommendations, as proposed by the Commission on 31 May 2021. A harmonised approach is critical for the certificate to become a successful tool for citizens to enjoy their right to free movement. The European Parliament will closely monitor the implementation to ensure a smooth roll-out of the EU Digital Covid Certificate; any irregularities need to be identified, reported and tackled to ensure free and safe travel this summer.
Sophie in 't Veld, Renew Europe's negotiator, adds:
“I am very pleased that we will adopt this digital covid certificate. We have eliminated some barriers, which is good, but not as many as we could have. As long as national governments resist a common European approach, the patchwork of national restrictions will continue to limit the right to freedom of movement beyond what is necessary to contain the pandemic.”
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