European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas on Tuesday stressed the benefits of vaccination certificates amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying they are of “utmost importance,” and indicated that such an initiative may be approved by the end of January.
His comments came ahead of a meeting of EU leaders on Thursday, in which a proposal made last week by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for a European certificate showing when an individual has been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus will be discussed.
“We need vaccinations certificates that would allow for a clear record of each individual’s vaccination history to ensure the right medical follow-up. A common EU approach to trusted, reliable and verifiable certificates would allow people to use their records in other EU member-states,” Schinas said.
“It would also open the door to other uses and help lift restrictions,” he added, pointing to one of the arguments put forward by the Greek prime minister, who said in a letter addressed to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that a certificate of vaccination against Covid-19 would ensure “the quickest possible re-establishment of freedom of movement between member-states, but also with third countries.”
Schinas also said that he and von der Leyen “continue to work with member-states on this common approach” so that a decision on the certificates can be reached before the end of the month, “and allow member-states interoperable certificates to be rapidly usable within the EU and beyond.”