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At its today’s sitting, the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) approved its positions on a common EU digital certificate that will enable to verify quickly on the border if a person has been vaccinated, received a negative test result or recovered from the coronavirus. It is expected that adoption of a Digital Green Certificate will help restore travel between countries within the Union.

See comments of the Chair and Deputy Chair of the European Union Affairs Committee. (Author: Erik Peinar, Chancellery of the Riigikogu)

Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Siim Kallas underlined that one of the most valuable achievements of the European Union was the right to free movement between the member states. “In order to also facilitate travel during the pandemic, the European Union has started proceedings for the swift adoption of the Digital Green Certificate draft regulation,” the Chairman said. He pointed out that the aim was to adopt the legislative framework for the digital certificate this June.

Kallas explained that the digital certificate was an electronic platform that could be used for submitting certificates of vaccination, recovery from disease and negative test results. “Only essential information will be entered on a certificate, it will be issued in a digital form or on paper, and it will have a unique QR code allowing verification of the authenticity and validity of the certificate,” Kallas said. He added that the purpose of the digital certificate was to enable quick and reliable control on borders and to prevent the use of false certificates.

Deputy Chair of the European Union Affairs Committee Riina Sikkut thinks that it is very good that the European Union is developing a common digital certificate, and the member states do not have different solutions, but attention must also be paid to ensuring the privacy of data and everyone’s opportunity to travel.

“With a digital certificate, no central data recording system will be created. Neither member states nor transport operators will record the data. It will be possible to check a digital certificate in such a way that information on vaccination status or a negative test result is confirmed, but no data remains in any data store,” Sikkut said. She also emphasised that everybody must have equal opportunities to travel. “The digital certificate will not hinder travel for non-vaccinated people. On the contrary, it can be used to prove a negative test result or recovery from disease.”

The digital certificate is planned to be a temporary solution. Once the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the COVID-19 pandemic over, the term of validity of the Regulation on the Digital Green Certificate will expire. Estonia’s position is that the technological solution to be created will also have to be usable globally in the future. The European Union is planning to allocate 49 million euro to implement the platform.

Estonia supports the creation of a European Union network for the issue, verification and recognition of interoperable vaccination, testing and recovery certificates, and urges its rapid launch. The European Union Affairs Committee decided to support the positions.

Riigikogu Press Service
Merilin Kruuse
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