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Green certificate will only work if it "opens the same doors" across the EU

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Our Basque member party, the EAJ-PNV, believes that the green certificate that the European Commission is working on to safely resume mobility in the coming weeks will only work if it is technologically interoperable and "opens the same doors" in all EU Member States. Homogeneous standards as well as a shared technological basis to facilitate the processing and protection of data on the epidemiological status of the traveller should prevent competition between tourist destinations regarding their levels of requirements in terms of COVID-19 restrictions from arising.

Yesterday afternoon, MEP Izaskun Bilbao Barandica took part in a debate organised by the Committee on Tourism on short-term measures to revive the tourism sector, which include restoring mobility in Europe. The gradual acceleration of the vaccine roll-out across the Union has prompted the launch of a common initiative that can build on this immunisation process to safely resume non-essential travel. For this reason, the session focused on the characteristics of the certificate that the European Commission is working on so that each person travelling can evidence their epidemiological status.

MEP Bilbao Barandica agreed that "the implementation of a green certificate recognised to the same extent throughout the Union is, in the short term, the most important measure for safely resuming tourism next summer". To achieve this, she called for "working on interoperable technical solutions to facilitate the use of the certificate and the control of its contents" and for "a solid harmonisation of the doors this will open in all member states. We must prevent the level of demand for anti-pandemic measures from being used to compete between tourist offers, something that we are seeing today in some member states".

She also insisted that reopening the tourism sector "must be associated with sustainability. It is urgent to set up a system of indicators that will enable public managers and the industry to better measure their impact and provide users with information to help them make decisions". Among the aspects to be evaluated, she mentioned "accessibility, intelligent systems against saturation, mobility solutions in the destination, the energy efficiency of buildings and the measures adopted against food waste".

Our Italian MEP Nicola Danti (Italia Viva) commented on the benefits of the green certificate, saying: "Facilitating travel is an essential part of restarting after the pandemic: think of the importance of tourism, trade, business trips, but also the possibility of reuniting more easily with family members and loved ones who perhaps live in different countries. Getting the certificate will be very simple once it is issued by your national health system  - it can be on paper or in a digital format and will contain the information necessary to cross borders. We need certainty, clear ideas and the right amount of confidence to allow us to start up again."