It is official: the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) has arrived. You can finally know how to plan your trips – at least within the European Union and in the Schengen zone. The EUDCC, hitherto known as the Digital Green Certificate, is meant for all EU citizens who (1) have been vaccinated, (2) have tested negative, and/or (3) recovered from COVID-19. Whether an individual falls within one of the three categories is certified by a digital certificate that is issued by their national authorities.
Stricter rules are going to apply to European vaccine exports. The European Commission, yesterday, added the principles of reciprocity and proportionality to the transparency and authorisation mechanism (a mechanism that allows Member States to stop vaccine exports under certain conditions). The two new principles allow countries to look at how much the destination country is exporting itself and if the conditions in that country are better or worse than the EU’s.
The European Commission proposed its long-awaited Digital Green Certificate last week. The certificate, which is welcomed by countries that wish to open up their tourist sector this month but despised by anti-vax tweeters that think it’s the EU’s newest strategy to keep everyone prisoner, is meant to facilitate free movement again. This comes after a period of rather restricted movement, with more and more Member States recently stopping travellers at the border.
“We need to go faster, much faster” commented Italy’s new Prime Minister Mario Draghi during the last European Council meeting that, among other things, touched upon the European vaccination strategy. Did this hurry lead him to block the 250,000 AstraZeneca’s vaccine shipment to Australia on the 4th of March? Maybe. Will this demonstration of strength change the pace of the EU vaccine rollout? Perhaps. What is sure is that Mr Draghi’s bold action has set a clear sign: the EU is losing its patience.