The Commission Against the Internal Market and EU Citizens Rights: Trying to Shoot down Sputnik with the 'Digital Green Certificate'?
(2021) 12 European Journal of Risk Regulation (Forthcoming)
13 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2021 Last revised: 8 May 2021
Date Written: April 14, 2021
The Digital Green Certificate (DGC) proposed by the EU Commission boasts facilitating the free movement rights of EU citizens as a legal basis; it will be capable of effectively serving as a COVID-19 passport. In this contribution, we cast doubt on whether the DGC is fit for purpose ‘facilitating free movement’, highlighting in particular the potential for the DGC to in fact facilitate greater free movement restrictions for a large number of EU citizens, in particular those who have received non-EMA approved vaccines such as the Sputnik V or Sinopharm, administered in full compliance with EU law. Under the proposal, any destination Member State that accepts proof of vaccination ‘in order to waive restrictions to free movement’ must apply the same waiver to any DGC-holder that has received an EMA-approved vaccine, and yet such equal treatment is only optional for DGC-holders who have been received non-EMA-approved vaccines. While this measure was alleged to be taken on grounds of public health, a convincing public health case has not been put forward. Instead, the DGC proposal as it stands disregards the promise of the internal market and sets the stage for its fragmentation through geopolitics and bilateralism.
Keywords: COVID-19, Vaccination passport, inocculation, discrimination, immunisation, internal market, emergency, EU law, Sputnik V, Sinopharm
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