Today the European Parliament has debated and adopted its position concerning the regulation laying down the characteristics and conditions of the so-called “Digital Green Certificate”. Last March, the European Commission presented this initiative aiming at facilitating mutual recognition of citizens’ information regarding COVID-19 vaccination and testing to be used when moving across the EU. However, the original proposal of the Commission did not sufficiently address accessibility of this personal health information for persons with disabilities.
The European Disability Forum prepared a set of proposals for amendments which were distributed among the members of the Disability Intergroup, and have finally been incorporated in the position of the European Parliament. These amendments explicitly refer to the accessibility of the digital and the paper-based certificate to guarantee that persons with disabilities have equal access to their personal health information as any other citizen.
EDF position also stressed the importance of involving persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in the development of this certificate, and that persons with pre-existing conditions who cannot be vaccinated will not be discriminated against on the basis of this pass. In this sense, EDF welcomes that the regulation does not restrict in any way the free movement of EU citizens, and reiterates its call to make COVID-19 vaccination and testing accessible and affordable for persons with disabilities.
Once the European Parliament and the Council agree on a final regulation, the Commission will develop the technical specification of these certificates and whilst doing so the state of the art accessibility requirements and standards will need to be respected.
Human Rights Report 2021: Impact of COVID19 on persons with disabilities
EU Commission information on Digital Green Certificates
Alejandro Moledo, Head of Policy