MEPs from the Civil Liberties Committee have endorsed proposals to keep the EU Digital COVID Certificate framework in place for another year.
MEPs from the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs voted in favour of two reports to prolong the EU Digital COVID Certificate for another 12 months, after it was originally set to expire on 30th June of this year.
This was done with the goal of ensuring that EU citizens can benefit from their right to free movement regardless of the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has effectively changed travel as Europeans knew it.
Along with extending the validity of the EU Digital COVID Certificate scheme until 30th June 2023, the changes also enable member states to grant test certificates based on new types of antigen tests.
MEPs amended the proposals to stress that member states should avoid additional restrictions on the freedom of movement for EU Digital COVID Certificate holders, unless absolutely necessary.
MEPs said that if restrictions are needed, they should be limited and proportionate, based on the latest scientific advice from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the EU Health Security Committee.
The European Commission was also asked to assess if the EU Digital COVID Certificate scheme is necessary and proportionate six months after its extension. MEPs want to shorten the period of application of the Regulation as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.
The use of the EU Digital COVID Certificate was adopted in June 2021 to facilitate free movement in Europe during the pandemic, for a limited period of 12 months.
The decision of the Civil Liberties Committee to open negotiations with the Council of the European Union on the legislative proposal will be announced at the opening of this week’s plenary session in Strasbourg. If there is an objection, the decision will be put to the vote on Thursday, 5th May.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
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