MIAMI – The EU Commission is pushing hard on the establishment of its own travel health credentials, the GreenPass for mid-June.

During a March 28 interview on French television channel LCI, Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for Internal Market since 2019, the EU’s vaccine man, presented what is the prototype of the GreenPass, now agreed by EU 27 members and to be enforced “without any obligation” from June 15 of this year, thus rendering possible free travel within Europe.

A Controversial Document

The adoption of this new travel document, available both in digital and paper form, has been a source of controversy among the member states. Those in favor include Greece, Spain, Italy, Hungary, and Austria among others while a group with a more cautious approach are France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

The cautionary position stems from the fact that the GreenPass is based on personal and therefore private health information that many would not wish to share.

To solve this conflict, the European Commission’s President, Ursula von der Leyen, has already said that Europe needs to come forward with a legislative proposal to find a common solution to do away with lockdown and travel restrictions.

European Commission Building in Brussels – Photo : pixabay free images, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Not a Compulsory Travel Requirement

During the interview, Thierry Breton stressed that the health pass would not be compulsory but confirmed that the EU’s wish is to have the GreenPass running before the summer season.

The pass will include information such as date of birth, passport number, and vaccination information with the type of vaccine received. It will also include information on antibodies carried after having contracted COVID-19. In the case of nonvaccinated individuals, the results of any PCR test taken will also be included. The data will be checked via a QR code.

The Commissioner also added that airlines may request the health pass, and those unable to present one would be asked to take a PCR test before boarding their flight.

Featured image: Milan Malpensa Airport. Photo: Lorenzo Giacobbo/Airways