Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

Answer given by Vice-President Jourová on behalf of the European Commission
(12.4.2021)

Obtaining a proof of vaccination after having been vaccinated is not a new concept: vaccination certificates allow citizens to receive clear information about the vaccine received, the date of the next dose and to obtain a reliable record of vaccination, which will be needed to receive a booster later in the future.

On 25-26 February 2021, the European Council called for work to continue on a common approach to vaccination certificates. The Commission adopted a legislative proposal on 17 March 2021 for a Digital Green Certificate /1 , which includes vaccination certificates, test results and statements about recovery from COVID-19. The goal is to facilitate safe free movement during the pandemic within the EU by making nationally issued certificates interoperable. Neither the certificates nor vaccination themselves will be a precondition to travel.

Many countries are issuing vaccination certificates, some of them also digitally. In this context, Member States, supported by the Commission, adopted a first set of guidelines aiming at the interoperability of vaccination certificates /2. Further work on the interoperability of vaccination certificates is being conducted by the eHealth Network in collaboration with the World Health Organization, which is planning a global standard on the so-called Smart Vaccination Certificates.

It is important to bear in mind that the responsibility for vaccination policies, programmes and services lies with Member States. The availability of a Digital Green Certificate does not mean that vaccination would become mandatory. Legislation on vaccination – including whether vaccination should be mandatory or not – is a national competence. The Commission has no decision-making powers in this respect.

1 https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_1181
2 https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/ehealth/docs/vaccination-proof_interoperability-guidelines_en.pdf

See question(s) : E-000287/2021

© European Union, 2021 – EP

Source: Answer to a written question – A European vaccine passport – E-000287/2021(ASW)

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