The European Union is pressing. If the EU countries do not step on the accelerator “from now on” to issue the Covid Digital Certificate, “we are going to face a ‘big bang’ on July 1 that we cannot afford.” That horizon that Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders drew this Tuesday reflects a real concern of the European Commission: that the technical gateway that will support the verification of all certificates and that is housed in a data center in Luxembourg could collapse if the Most of the Twenty-seven wait until the last moment. “The more problems are solved now and the more certificates are issued, the easier the summer will be,” added the Belgian politician. To date, about a million of these special health passes have been issued; the main beam that must support the reestablishment of free movement and, consequently, support the reactivation of the tourism sector.
Spain began to do so on Monday and was one of the first to participate in a technical rehearsal that was joined by at least twenty-two more partners. After the political agreement reached on May 20 – which the European Parliament will ratify this Wednesday – the entire network of systems enabled by the European Commission became operational on June 1. Seven states of the club were already connected to this common gateway – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia and Poland – in addition to Iceland and Switzerland. The European gateway allows checking the encrypted signature in the QR code of a document that is issued for free, on paper or digitally, and that does not give access to the processing of sensitive personal data, which are only stored in national health networks.
The information that is compressed in the electronic code contemplates three possible scenarios: having been vaccinated against covid-19; have a negative PCR test or one that certifies having overcome the disease and having antibodies. The message that the European commissioner was launching this Tuesday affected an idea that has been defended for weeks. Since the initiative is unprecedented and has technically been developed in just two months, it is necessary that it gradually gain body in a “smooth” way to avoid draft failures.
“Spain began to implement it on Monday and it was one of the first countries to participate in technical trials”
Because this tool, which will be in operation for at least one year, is also intended to be used as an “international standard”; not only for movements through the Schengen Area, but also for two-way movements with non-EU countries with which the EU reopens its borders. The negotiation for this reciprocal recognition began months ago with the United States and is also open with the United Kingdom.
For now, the certificates have to be recognized by all EU countries as of July 1, according to a regulation that was voted on Tuesday in the European Parliament and that, despite the fact that the result will not be announced until this Wednesday , has no doubts: it will be endorsed by a notable majority. With the certificate, there should be no additional quarantines or negative tests at the destination.
This stumbling block was saved in the negotiation with the European Parliament – led by the Spanish socialist Juan Fernando López Aguilar – incorporating a clause that only authorizes additional controls “if they are necessary” and always in a “proportionate manner” to safeguard “public health in response to pandemic ”and taking into account“ scientific evidence ”including updated data from the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) and Commission recommendations. They must be communicated 48 hours in advance to the rest of the States and to Brussels.
The other problem of the negotiation, the free tests precisely because they are compulsory, was overcome with the mobilization by the Commission of a minimum of one hundred million euros to support the States in the purchase of tests. Its lower cost or absolute gratuitousness was raised, in principle, only for those citizens who have to travel for work, family or medical reasons.
MEPs joined Reynders’ urgency request during the session held at the Strasbourg headquarters; the first since the outbreak of the pandemic. “Europeans desperately want their freedom back and it is the mosaic of national norms that prevents them from moving,” said Sophia in ‘t Veld of the Renew group. From the ranks of the popular Jeroen Lenaers, he launched the same wish: “that there is finally some coordination and predictability on our internal borders.”
The EU migration pact continues to be stranded by the disagreement between the partners
The new Migration and Asylum Pact promoted by the European Commission will continue in the drawer. “It still does not provide realistic and satisfactory solutions for many of our problems,” Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska stressed on Tuesday after meeting with his European counterparts in Luxembourg. The southern countries in the front line (Spain, Italy or Greece) maintain their common against a project that Brussels presented in September of last year and that lacks “clarity and firmness” in the cooperation between partners and the prevention of the phenomenon at source.
Their goal, that the other EU countries help them share the burden of arrivals with “common and fair” rules. Something that they do not perceive in that proposal of the Community Executive that was called to replace the Dublin migration pact, failed due to the lack of solidarity in the relocation of asylum seekers.
The new failure of the EU to reach an agreement is leading to very questionable national formulas – even by Brussels – such as the one approved last week in the Danish Parliament (the automatic deportation of a citizen who requests asylum to ‘collaborating’ third countries) . The point is that given the difficulty of reaching a great agreement, they try to scratch unique agreements to solve the problems. And the debate is endless again.
This Tuesday, those responsible for the Interior of the Twenty-seven agreed that the foreign dimension of migration policy will focus the debate that the heads of State and Government will hold at the next summit, scheduled for the 24th and 25th of this month. “We must take a step forward and prioritize this external dimension” through “cooperation with countries of origin and transit of migration to prevent departures and avoid loss of life,” said Grande-Marlaska, who held a bilateral meeting with his Italian counterpart and who defended this line of work in the Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA), which was held in person for the first time since March of last year.