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Thursday, February 9, 2023

European COVID Certificate: Its maintenance until June 2023 approved by the European Parliament

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To ensure that EU citizens can enjoy their right to free movement regardless of the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Parliament approved the decision of the Committee on Civil Liberties to start negotiations with the Member States to extend the regime of the European Digital Certificate COVID (EUDCC), which expires on 30 June, for another 12 months. MEPs adopted resolutions to start the extension negotiations with 432 votes in favor, 130 against and 23 abstentions (EU citizens) and 441 votes in favor, 132 votes against and 20 abstentions (third-country nationals).

In parallel with the extension of the EUDCC until 30 June 2023, the changes also allow Member States to issue diagnostic certificates based on new types of antigen tests.

Review after six months

MEPs amended the current proposals to emphasize that Member States should avoid additional restrictions on the free movement of European certification holders, unless absolutely necessary. If restrictions are required, they should be limited and proportionate, based on the latest scientific advice from the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) and the EU Health and Safety Committee.

They also ask the European Commission to assess after six months whether the EUDCC status is still necessary and proportionate. MEPs want the regulation to be implemented as soon as possible and to be abolished as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.

Next steps

Negotiations with the Council on reaching an extension agreement can begin immediately, with the rules coming into force before the end of the current regime on 30 June.

Related information

The creation of the European Digital Certificate COVID (EUDCC) was approved in June 2021 to facilitate free movement in Europe during the pandemic, for a limited period of 12 months.

Source: politis.com.cy

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