Europe to Propose Covid Certificate to Allow EU Travel

17 Mar 2021 · 3rd Party Analysis

WRITTEN BY ThorFX

In Summary

  • Europe will propose a “digital green certificate” despite vaccine shortage problems
  • EU-UK dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol leads to legal action

Europe to Propose Covid Certificate

The European Commission is considering proposing the creation of a Covid-19 certificate. On Wednesday, Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President, will call for a “digital green certificate”. This document will allow both vaccinated and non-vaccinated European citizens to travel to other member states without a quarantine period after arrival.

The certificate will be given to people who can show proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from the virus if it’s previously been contracted. In addition, people who have a negative Covid-19 test before traveling will also be allowed to travel in Europe. EU states that rely heavily on tourism are strongly in favor of the proposal. However, some countries have opposed the initiative. France, for example, said that it discriminates against citizens who cannot receive their vaccine. This is mainly due to the shortfall in deliveries and the slow pace of distribution.

EU member states have been at loggerheads over which of the vaccines should count. According to the draft of the proposal, all vaccines recognized by the European Medicine Agency should be eligible but this is yet to be confirmed later today. The disorderly and uneven distribution of vaccines is causing frictions among the bloc. Some countries are stressing they need more vaccines to maintain equal vaccine distribution on a proportionate basis. Official information from the European Commission shows that of 60.7 million doses delivered in the EU, 43.1 million doses have been administered.

Discord Continues Between the EU and the UK

Meanwhile, the European Union and the UK are going through a rough patch that has led to legal actions. Less than three months after the Brexit process was formally settled, the European Union launched legal action against the UK. The move concerns Britain’s unilateral decision to delay the implementation of a key part of the Brexit deal relating to Northern Ireland. The decision by the UK to ease trading rules for Northern Ireland, according to the Brexit agreement, is a violation of the rules that both sides have agreed upon. The EU’s Brexit commissioner, Maros Sefcovic, stressed that Britain should seek joint solutions. Rather, it is currently acting on its own when it comes to Brexit agreements.

“The recent measures once again set the U.K. on a path of a deliberate breach of its international law obligations and the duty of good faith”. This is what Mr. Sefcovic wrote in a letter to Lord David Frost, UK’s Brexit negotiator who joined Boris Johnson’s cabinet to lead the UK’s relationship with the EU.

The Northern Ireland Protocol is a key part of the Brexit deal. This has been a point of tension between the two sides. The Brexit treaty says that Northern Ireland remains in the EU’s customs union and single market. This alleviates the need for border checks on the island of Ireland. However, they are now required for the first time on goods coming into the province from Great Britain.

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