MEPs have voted in favour of fast-tracking the approval process for the European Commission proposal for a Covid-19 vaccine certificate (Digital Green Certificate).
MEP Deirdre Clune has welcomed today's majority vote.
“With all measures to prevent and alleviate the worst impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the health, wellbeing and prosperity of our citizens, there is no time to waste. Speeding up our work as legislators on issues such as this, when required, should be a priority”, the Fine Gael MEP said.
Summer tourism season
The European Parliament voted to use an urgency procedure for the proposal, but has yet to scrutinise and vote on the actual content of the travel cert. Today's vote guarantees a timeframe allowing for the certificate to come into force by June — in time for the summer tourism season — if agreed and adopted.
For MEP Clune, the travel cert could positively boost tourism, preparing the way for safer and easier freedom of movement in Europe.
“The Digital Green Certificate or vaccination cert will make travel safer and easier across Europe by providing uniform proof that those travelling has been vaccinated against Covid-19, have tested negative or developed immunity”, said Ms Clune, a member of the Parliament's Environment and Public Health Committee.
“Today, MEPs backed a faster process for its consideration, but the proposal will still be subject to scrutiny by the Parliament and to agreement of the Member States before it can be adopted. It is also important that it respects our fundamental rights and values, as well as data protection requirements.
Hospitality and tourism
“Our hospitality and tourism sectors have been devastated by the pandemic and the necessary lockdowns and business closures. We must do all we can to help boost those businesses by encouraging safe travel and tourism post-Covid", the Ireland South MEP said.
The certificate should only cover COVID-19 vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), as health and safety remains the first priority, she added.