The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a Digital Green Certificate covering COVID-19 vaccination, testing and recovery, in a bid to reopen the European Union (EU) "in a safe, sustainable and predictable way."
"This is an EU level approach to issuing, verifying and accepting certificates to facilitate free movement within the EU," the executive arm of the bloc said in a statement, noting that the legislative proposal is "based on a strict respect for non-discrimination and of the fundamental rights of EU citizens."
The European Commission proposed to define and implement a technical framework for the certificate at EU level by mid-June, so that security, interoperability, as well as full compliance with personal data protection, can be safeguarded.
"It will also allow the possibility to extend to compatible certificates issued in third countries," the Commission added.
The proposal is "a balanced package of existing and new measures," European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas said. "In lifting restrictions, we must learn the lessons of 2020 and avoid damaging and costly cycles of opening and closing."
Schinas hoped the bloc's 27 member states could endorse the proposal at the EU summit on March 25.