PES home affairs ministers welcome progress on EU Digital COVID Certificate

04/06/2021

PES home affairs ministerial meeting

PES home affairs ministerial meeting

The EU Digital COVID Certificate is a welcome move to safely restore freedom of movement in the EU; it must be put in place as soon as possible, PES home affairs ministers agreed today as they met online.

Ministers from Spain, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Portugal convened with EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson to exchange on the EU Digital COVID Certificate and the Pact on Migration and Asylum.

Chair, Spanish Minister of the Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska said:

“Efforts to safely restore the Schengen Area and the fundamental value of free movement are welcomed by the socialist political family. We encourage the European Parliament to back the certificate in plenary next week to guarantee that it can be implemented ahead of the summer.

“Allowing citizens and companies to once again safely move within the EU will support SMEs and help relaunch the various economic sectors, most notably tourism, that have been hugely impacted by this crisis. It is encouraging that some Member States have already passed the technical tests and are beginning to roll out their certificates.

“We will remain vigilant as further progress is made to ensure that this important tool is used without any discrimination, in full transparency and in compliance with EU data protection standards.”

On Wednesday, MEPs are expected to give their backing to the provisional deal on the certificate agreed between Parliament and Council negotiators in May. The certificate will provide travellers with proof that they have been vaccinated, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19.

The ministers also discussed migration and asylum, reaffirming their commitment to fair and effective cooperation with EU’s neighbours and partners on the basis of common interests and common challenges. This means strong action to stop human smuggling and trafficking and fair legal pathways for migrants.

The meeting committed to continue working to reach agreement on the Migration and Asylum Pact, put forward by Commissioner Ylva Johansson. This is a crucial and urgent step to manage migration, save people’s lives, and show solidarity.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Chair, Minister for Home Affairs, Spain
  • Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, European Commission
  • Michal Hašek, Deputy Minister of the Interior, Czech Republic
  • Mattias Tesfaye, Minister for Immigration and Integration, Denmark
  • Eduardo Cabrita, Minister for Home Affairs, Portugal
  • Juan Fernando López Aguilar, LIBE Chair in the European Parliament, MEP, S&D Group
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES