European Union Member States have come to an agreement on the European Commission’s proposal of a digital green certificate or ‘vaccine passport,’ according to an announcement published by the Commission.
The certificates will be ready to be rolled out by 1 June 2021, according to the announcement.
According to the announcement, Member State representatives in the eHealth Network reached an agreement on the guidelines regarding the main technical specifications for the implementation of the system. This is a key step in creating the infrastructure necessary for it to be available around the entire EU.
The agreement covers technical specifications including data structure, encoding mechanisms.
According to the announcement, the ‘vaccine passport’ will include a QR code for ease of use and the ability for the green certificates to be verified across the EU.
In addition, the agreed-upon guidelines also detail the EU Gateway, which will allow for the sharing of electronic signature keys for verification of the certificates.
The ‘vaccine certificate’ will be available on a mobile app in order to for them to be available to most people and to be verified, according to the announcement.
Most importantly, the agreement on the technical aspects of the digital green certificate means that authorities in the EU are getting closer to possibly allowing travel to take place again.
“Today is a key milestone for setting up the Digital Green Certificate’s infrastructure at EU level. These guidelines, adopted unanimously by national experts, show Member States’ commitment and readiness and will provide them with the specifications necessary for a quick implementation. On the Commission’s side, we will be ready by 1 June and ready for Member States to connect, like this we can ensure that the system will be in place by the summer season. We stand ready to support Member States in their efforts to roll out the necessary technical infrastructure as soon as possible,” said Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market.
The first proposal for a digital green certificate took place on 17 March 2021 when the Commission adopted the first legislative proposal to create the technology.
On 14 April 2021, the Council approved a mandate to begin negotiations with the Parliament to adopt the proposals and create the system. A vote in Parliament is expected soon. The next steps for the ‘vaccine passport’ to finally be available, apart from the political process, is to set up the infrastructure for the program. Afterwards, national solutions for issuing, verifying, and storing the green certificates must be created. Finally, the EU Gateway for the green certificates must be created and tested. The EU will provide assistance for Member States to adopt the Gateway.