The elected Ile-de-France representative Sophia Chikirou mentioned, during an interview with BFMTV in January 2021, a “vaccination passport” project launched by the European Commission in 2019. A device which had “not a health vocation”, said the regional councillor.
If, in 2018, the European Commission did mention a vaccine passport project, it was to allow citizens changing their country of residence to continue their vaccination course without incident.
To respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commission has introduced an “EU digital Covid certificate”, a separate initiative.
Has the European Commission planned a vaccine passport from 2019 that would give access to certain activities or events?
The excerpt from a January 2021 broadcast went viral again on social media after being shared on February 9 by Senator Les Républicains Alain Houpert.
“Worrying”, he comments in the caption of this video in which intervenes Sophia Chikirou, regional councilor of Ile-de-France attached to the group La France Insoumise.
“I found a working document from the European Commission dating from March 2019, which has since been working on the idea of a European Community vaccine passport.
The idea is not new […], it does not arise during this pandemic, ”launches the elected representative from the Ile-de-France.
"We must ask ourselves the question of why this vaccine passport anticipated like this [...] the pandemic
of coronavirus, ”she continues.
The elected defends herself from being "conspiratorial" but "finds that this idea of this vaccine passport hides things" and that it "does not have a health vocation".
If this is confirmed, I have no more words!
— Alain Houpert (@alainhoupert) February 9, 2022
The excerpt comes from the show
Face à Duhamel
, broadcast on BFMTV on January 18, 2021.
In 2018, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union, made up of members of the governments of EU member countries, made recommendations on vaccination.
Among them, that of creating a “book” or a “vaccination passport”.
The idea then was to ensure that every citizen living in the EU receives the recommended vaccines, even if they move to another Member State.
These two institutions started from the observation that “the differences between the vaccination schedules of the Member States, with regard to the recommendations, the type of vaccine used, the number of doses administered and the dates of the vaccines, increase the risk that citizens, especially children, miss a vaccine when moving to another Member State”.
A "study is in progress"
In 2019, the European Commission published a roadmap for the application of these various recommendations until 2022. A feasibility study was to be carried out over three years, until 2021. In 2022, a proposal was to be formulated for this project.
This “booklet” or “vaccination passport” project has not yet seen the light of day – and it is not certain that it will ever come to fruition.
The European Commission tells us that "no decision" has been taken on this subject.
In July 2021, Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health, explained that "a study is underway".
A different project from the “EU digital Covid certificate”
The EU Commission and Council took an interest in vaccination in 2018 because of a "decline in [vaccination] coverage, a shortage of supplies and a growing reluctance to with regard to vaccines", explained the Commission at the time.
This draft "booklet" or "vaccination passport" is different from the "EU digital Covid certificate", which came into force on July 1, 2021. It is this certificate, equipped with a QR code, which is for example used by the French government in the TousAntiCovid application to certify the doses of anti-Covid-19 vaccines received.
This document has been drawn up to facilitate free movement within the EU.
According to the Commission's rules, it can be established either when a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, or by presenting a negative test result, or even by having a certificate of recovery from Covid-19.
The Commission clarifies that "the national use of EU digital Covid certificates remains the responsibility of the Member States", i.e. the States are free to use or not to use digital certificates in their response against the pandemic.
Thus, asking “to access events or restaurants” is a skill and a choice made at the national level.
This certificate is currently in force for one year, i.e. until June 30, but the Commission proposed on February 3 to extend it until June 2023, due to the health situation.
The European Parliament and the Council of the EU must then validate – or not – this request.
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A fault ?