The introduction of a “vaccination passport” has long been discussed in the EU – before the vaccination process even begins. It has been set at a January summit by a number of leaders (including the Greek prime minister), and some member states (such as Denmark and Sweden) are already moving in that direction, without expecting unanimity among partners.
The issue is on the agenda of today and tomorrow's teleconference to be held by the leaders of the “27”, with the main topic being the course of the pandemic and the vaccinations, as well as the preparation for the next day. “I believe that we must continue to work towards a common approach to vaccination certificates,” said European Council President Charles Michel in the letter of invitation, with a similar wording in the draft conclusions.
The day before yesterday, in fact, there was a preparatory communication (and) on this issue, with the participation, in addition to Michel, of the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, of the Portuguese Prime Minister, who holds the periodic six-month presidency, Antonio Costa, of the and Italy, Angela Merkel and Mario Draghi, as well as Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The South and tourism
All indications are, therefore, that a step in this direction will be taken today and tomorrow – even if a final agreement is unlikely. “EU leaders will agree on Thursday to work on the introduction of vaccination certificates for EU citizens who have taken a dose of Covid-19, with the countries of the South, which are heavily dependent on tourism, to “They are desperately trying to save this summer,” Reuters wrote yesterday afternoon.
According to the agency, Brussels is already in contact with the World Health Organization, the OECD, but also with the international aviation association IAT, in order to explore the possibilities and settle the critical details that imply such a move.
The case, however, is not simple and the result will not be quick. The main reason for this is not only the “dark spots” that still exist as to whether the vaccine stops the transmission of the virus and its mutations. Nor, above all, the question marks that arise regarding sensitive personal data – after all, the “27” have shown that they do not take them into account when otherwise they have decided to agree.
Elections in Germany and France
The main problem that seems to exist is political and has to do with France and Germany. The two largest EU countries, that is, in which – primarily in France, but also in Germany – there is a large percentage of their citizens who remain in the ranks of skeptics, if not those who are not vaccinated.
As the latter has already entered the pre-election period, in view of the September confrontation, while the latter will enter after the summer as the elections are scheduled for the spring of 2022, it is obvious that they do not want to break eggs. Moreover, neither is as dependent on tourism as Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy;