The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) has backed a proposal from the EU Commission to extend the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate (DCC) scheme for another year, until June 2023.
The Committee has backed the proposal with 48 in favor, 16 opposed, and no abstentions at a meeting on Thursday, April 28, in order to ensure that EU citizens continue to benefit from their freedom of movement despite the epidemic’s growth.
The claim said that the Certificate had enabled the development of anti-discrimination rules that were not solely directed towards European citizens and did not jeopardize their right to free movement and equality. Juan Fernando López Aguilar, a Spanish MEP who led the creation of the report on the framework before Parliament’s Committee, said that without endangering EU citizens’ freedom of travel and equality, it had allowed for unilateral national limitations.
“We wanted to avoid discrimination between countries of origin, and we wanted this law to be temporary. However, we can only get rid of it when the epidemic is over. We’re extending the scheme’s validity and requesting experts to evaluate the situation in six months as a result of people being able to travel freely again,” she said, adding that because now individuals are moving freely once more, it implies that the regulation is functioning effectively.
The LIBE Committee has backed the Commission’s revisions, which include allowing recovery certificates for people who have tested negative with rapid antigen tests, which was previously not possible.
The Committee, on Thursday, has, nevertheless, voted to send a request to the Commission asking it to review the plan after six months and terminate it if no longer required.
“The Regulation will be applied as quickly as possible once the epidemiological situation allows,” according to the statement.
The MEPs urged EU governments to refrain from imposing COVID-19 limitations this summer unless absolutely vital, and even then, in keeping with EU Center for Disease Prevention and Control and EU Health Security Committee recommendations.
The European Union had also implemented an EU mechanism in March of this year that allows Member States to invalidate fraudulent or faulty EU Digital COVID CertificATES due to the frequently discovered COVID certificates for entry into restricted access zones or travel. On March 15, the EU Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, announced that by then, over 1.7 billion digital certificates had been issued by the countries involved in the framework.
Since the first certificates were issued by the Member States in June 2021, 27 EU Member States and 35 third countries have been designated as frameworks for their issuance and verification. These are Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Benin, Cape Verde, El Salvador, the Faroe Islands, Georgia, Israel, Iceland, Jordan, Lebanon, and Liechten.