German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that the leaders of the European Union have agreed on the need to introduce a certificate of coronavirus vaccination, noting that the bloc will need three months to prepare.
According to the chancellor, such certificates will at first be developed by each member country, with the European Commission later making them "compatible" so that they can be used in any European Union country.
This, along with additional information on citizens, will make travelling within the bloc possible and could also allow for nationals of other countries to arrive to the EU, Merkel noted. In Germany, the decision has already been made to issue the certificates.
Charles Michel, the head of the European Council, stated that the current bloc's priority is speeding up production and delivery of the vaccines around the EU.
EU leaders agreed that vaccine production capacity must be increased, noting that the bloc needs to prepare for a scenario in which continuous vaccinations will be carried out over the coming years due to emerging novel virus variants.
While the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across much the world, including in the EU, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that 50 million vaccine doses have been delivered in the bloc, and "work is ongoing to tackle new variants."
The idea of digital certificates for the coronavirus vaccination was implemented in Greece in January, with the country's prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, asserting that it would help facilitate travel within the bloc. Mitsotakis voiced support for the initiative to be introduced across the EU.
“This last is important. Even in corporate environments, it is very difficult to remove an underling for incompetence if that underling has seniority and a long history of good performance reviews. As in government bureaucracies, the easiest way to deal with such people is often to “kick them upstairs”: promote them to a higher post, where they become somebody else’s problem.”