- Current rules expire on 30 June
- The Commission may propose to repeal it after six months if no longer necessary
- No to disproportionate or discriminatory restrictions to free movement
The European Parliament plenary has endorsed the deal with member states to extend the legal framework of the EU Digital COVID Certificate for another 12 months.
On Thursday, MEPs backed the agreement reached on 13 June, which aims to prevent restrictions to EU free movement in the event of new variants or other pandemic-related threats, with 453 votes in favour, 119 against, and 19 abstaining (union citizens), and 454 in favour, 112 against, and 20 abstentions (third-country nationals). The current rules, which were due to expire next week, will be valid until 30 June 2023.
In response to Parliament’s request, the text states that member states should not restrict the free movement of EUDCC holders in a way that is disproportionate or discriminatory. The European Commission will assess the impact of the EUDCC on free movement and fundamental rights by the end of 2022, and can propose its repeal, if the public health situation allows, based on the latest scientific advice from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Health Security Committee.
After the vote, the rapporteur Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES) said: “Due to the unpredictable evolution of the virus, the Parliament has extended the application of the EUDCC for a year to ensure citizens have the right to free movement within the EU. We hope this is the last extension and we have tasked the Commission to assess by 31 December 2022 whether the EUDCC could be repealed as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.”
The extension still needs to be formally adopted by the Council of the EU. It will then enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.