Countries in the European Union agreed this week on the guidelines defining the main technical specifications for the implementation of a system that will process the highly-anticipated Digital Green Certificates, set to enable cross-border travel during the pandemic and after Covid-19 subsides.
Member states are now called on to establish the necessary infrastructure and technical solutions at a national level so as to be ready to implement the project ahead of the summer tourism season.
“This is an important step towards making the digital Green Certificates a reality for citizens by the summer,” said Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides.
On Thursday, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders told Euronews that the Green Certificate would be entering pilot phase in June or early July.
EU members agreed on technical specifications that cover data structure and encoding mechanisms, including the QR code, which will ensure that all certificates, whether digital or on paper, can be read and verified in all states.
They also approved guidelines that describe the EU gateway which will allow the sharing of electronic signature keys so that the authenticity of the travel passes can be verified across the EU. No personal data will pass through the gateway.
Lastly, EU countries agreed on reference implementations for relevant software; a reference app to verify certificates; and a template for a wallet app for citizens to store them.
Member states will have to set up these systems nationally.
“We will be ready by 1 June and ready for member states to connect, like this we can ensure that the system will be in place by the summer season,” said Thierry Breton, commissioner for Internal Market.
Reynders described the approval as an “important step in the roll-out of the Green Certificates”.
“We are now looking forward to next week’s vote in the European Parliament Plenary,” he said when the European Parliament is expected to adopt its mandate for negotiations with the Council, which may include amendments during the April 26-29 session.