Dublin, 10 June 2021: The European Commission Representation in Ireland, the European Parliament Liaison Office in Ireland and EM Ireland this morning held a panel discussion on Ireland and the EU Digital COVID Certificate which aims to facilitate the safe free movement of citizens within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic with effect from summer 2021.
Speaking at the event, Minister Ossian Smyth TD, Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said, “The EU Digital COVID Certificate is an important capability in facilitating the safe re-opening of travel across Europe. Ireland has been actively participating in the design and testing phases and we look forward to offering support for the COVID certificate from 19 July.”
Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland, Barbara Nolan commented, “The EU Digital COVID Certificate Framework, proposed by the Commission and approved by the Parliament and Council in record time, will be a real improvement for European citizens and their fundamental right to free movement. The Certificate will be a proof that a person has been vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19, or received a negative test result. It will be free of charge, secure and accessible to all. It is also fully in line with European values and principles such as data protection, inclusiveness and proportionality. The ball is now in the Member States’ court to ensure that the full system will be up and running by 1 July. In this way, the European Digital COVID Certificate can be a crucial instrument for the coordination of travel measures this summer, allowing citizens to travel safely.”
Billy Kelleher MEP, Renew, Ireland South said that the Certificate, “will be crucial part of how we re-open Ireland safely. Whether it is reuniting families separated by the pandemic, welcoming tourists to our Ireland to support our tourism and hospitality sectors, or indeed enabling Irish people take a break abroad; it is an important step in getting back to normal. Ireland should embrace the opportunities that the Certificate gives, and not shy away from being at the vanguard of rolling it out.”
Sophia in’t Veld, Dutch MEP, Renew and Shadow Rapporteur for the report on the Digital Green Certificate said, “The freedom to travel throughout Europe is cherished by many Europeans as one of the most precious intangible gains of European integration. The European Parliament kept this in mind at all times as it worked towards the adoption of the European Digital Covid Certificate. I take great pride in that fact. Europeans can now carry a common European certificate to prove that they are vaccinated or tested. This will take away a great deal of uncertainty for people who intend to cross an internal border in Europe this summer. At least they know that they can prove to the authorities that it’s safe to be allowed entry. EU member states’ governments must now commit to respecting this certificate, and not impose additional restrictions on people who wish to enter safely. We have taken a significant step towards rebuilding the trust that is needed for free travel across Europe, let’s take all the necessary steps towards restoring this very precious right.”
Monika Mosshammer, Deputy Head of Unit for Union Citizenship Rights and Free Movement, DG for Justice and Consumers, European Commission also spoke at the online event, which was moderated by Oireachtas TV presenter and producer, Aisling Brady.
Watch the event in full here.
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