The European Parliament has officially announced that the framework for the EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate is now in-place and ready for use by Member States, according to a press release published by the Parliament.
In the Parliament’s ongoing plenary session, one of the main topics of discussion was restoring the freedom of movement in the Schengen Area and European Union, which has been largely taken away for more than 1 year at the time of writing this article.
According to the announcement, 9 Member States are already using and verifying at least one type of certificate, and 23 others are ready to plug into the framework and begin using it as well.
The next action is for the rest of the Member States to adopt the action and apply it in their own countries.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are now calling on all Member States to take up the framework and begin using the certificate on-or-before 1 July 2021. This is seen as necessary to restore freedom of movement in Europe, which was largely taken away by governments.
“Europeans desperately want to regain their freedom. I think it is worthwhile remembering that it isn’t the virus that has taken away their right to free movement in Europe. It is actually the patchwork of national rules that makes it impossible for them to move around,” said Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld.
MEPs have discussed many concerns surrounding the certificate as well, namely that it could become a de facto requirement to be vaccinated to move freely or that the certificate could come to be thought of as another travel document required by border control.
In effect, the Digital Covid-19 Certificate “is supposed to facilitate free movement and not be a condition of it,” according to Polish MEP Joachim Stanislaw Brudzinski. He continued to say that “this regulation cannot be seen as something that makes vaccines obligatory.”
In addition, many other MEPs have expressed concerns that the certificate could end up being a way to prove that you actually do have rights within the EU. According to German MEP Christine Anderson, it could be seen as “a certificate to prove you’ve got rights.” This situation could completely destroy the intended purpose of the certificate.