To facilitate its adoption by the summer, MEPs decided to accelerate the approval of the Digital Green Certificate, allowing for safe and free movement during the pandemic.

With 468 votes in favour, 203 against and 16 abstentions, MEPs supported using the urgency procedure (Rule 163), which allows for faster parliamentary scrutiny of the Commission’s proposals, while fully respecting its democratic prerogatives.

During the plenary debate, a large majority of MEPs supported a swift creation of the Digital Green Certificate, which aims to facilitate safe and free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Commission proposal, this could include information on whether a traveller has been vaccinated against COVID-19, a COVID-19 test result, and information on recovery from a COVID-19 infection. Several speakers highlighted the need to have strong data protection safeguards on personal and medical data, and stressed that those who have not been vaccinated must not face discrimination.

Next steps

Plenary will adopt its mandate for negotiations with Council, which may include amendments to the Commission’s proposal, during the next plenary session (26-29 April). The outcome of the negotiations among the co-legislators will have to be endorsed by both Parliament and Council.

On March 17, the Commission tabled a proposal for a Regulation on a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate free movement in the EU – 2021/0068 (COD) and an accompanying proposal on third country nationals legally staying or residing in the EU (2021/0071 (COD).