As from July 1st 2021, EU citizens (and third-country nationals living in the EU) will be able to move between EU countries with the “EU Digital COVID Certificate”, which will be issued for free by national authorities and will be available either in digital format or on paper with a QR code. The Plenary session of the European Parliament, gathered in Strasbourg, approved the introduction, for 12 months, of such document, which will certify whether a person has been vaccinated (with a EMA-approved vaccine) or recently received a negative test result or has recovered from the infection. Such certificates will be compatible and verifiable all over the EU. In addition, the MEPs wanted and did reach an agreement, laying down that no EU country can impose further restrictions on travelling for people who hold the certificate (such as quarantine, self-isolation or testing) “unless such restrictions are reasonable and necessary to protect public health”. The European Parliament also mentioned that “the tests should have affordable prices and be widely available”. At the European Parliament’s request, the EU Commission pledged to mobilise 100 million euros to enable the member states to buy tests for issuing the certificates.
The Plenary session of the European Parliament will keep on working today: debates have been resumed after the speeches of the president of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the president of the EU Council, Charles Michel, about going back to the European Council of May 24th and 25th and the preparation for next week’s G7 summit. At 12.00pm, president David Sassoli will announce the winner of the Lux European Audience Award 2021. Other items on the agenda: cyber-security, gender equality and online harassment of women in politics.