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Parliamentary questions
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30 March 2021
E-000223/2021(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000223/2021

On 25-26 February 2021, the European Council called for work to continue on a common approach to vaccination certificates. A legislative proposal was adopted by the Commission for a Digital Green Certificate on 17 March 2021. It aims to support vaccination certificates, test results and statements about recovery from COVID-19. The goal is to make nationally issued certificates interoperable, meaning that they can be read, understood and verified in other Member States.

Already on 27 January 2021, Member States, supported by the Commission, adopted a first set of guidelines aiming at the interoperability of vaccination certificates for medical purposes(1). These guidelines establish a minimum dataset for vaccination certificates and set the basis for a trust framework enabling mutual recognition of vaccination certificates. Additionally, the Health Security Committee has adopted a common list of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, including those of which their test results are mutually recognised, and a common standardised set of data to be included in COVID-19 test result certificates(2). Further work is being conducted by the eHealth Network in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, which is planning a global standard on the so-called Smart Vaccination Certificates.

The Commission supports Member States in maintaining or achieving high vaccination coverage rates for public health reasons. As part of the response to the current pandemic, the Commission has, together with Member States, set up an EU Strategy for COVID-19 vaccines(3). It is, however, important to bear in mind that the responsibility for vaccination policies, programmes and services lies with Member States.

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/health/ehealth/covid-19_en
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/preparedness_response/docs/covid-19_rat_common-list_en.pdf
(3)https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52020DC0245
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