Chancellor Kurz can imagine a corona passport for those who have been vaccinated, those who have been tested and those who have recovered. Freedom to travel should also be possible again.
Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) is campaigning for a green passport for people who have been vaccinated, tested and recovered from corona. "A green passport is needed for anyone who is vaccinated or who has just had Corona and is therefore immune, or who has taken a new test," Kurz said on Wednesday in Vienna. He will bring this proposal to the EU summit on Thursday and hope for a European solution. Should that not succeed, the project will be tackled "nationally". The FPÖ immediately objected, accusing the Chancellor of "full Corona surveillance".
Green passport aims to bring back freedom of travel
"We need freedom of travel back within the European Union," emphasized Kurz in front of journalists. An EU-wide green passport could "represent a good basis for us to get through the summer properly". Israel already has a similar system, insofar as it "expects" "that we also implement this in Europe". Technically, it is easy to do. It should be a digital solution: everyone should be able to identify themselves with their cell phone.
Kurz emphasized that he had already spoken to numerous EU counterparts as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about this proposal. When asked about the reservations of some EU countries, he said he "hopes to be able to break the reservations of the states as quickly as possible". He is striving for a European solution. "If it does not succeed, we will of course approach this project nationally and try to find a common path with as many states in the neighborhood and beyond as possible."
Return to normality by summer "absolutely realistic"
Kurz emphasized: "We all want our normal life back as soon as possible. We want the freedom to travel back within Europe - regardless of whether for business or pleasure - and above all we want the opportunity to go to cultural events, restaurants and hotels to be able to go in and enjoy that too ". A return to normality by summer is "absolutely realistic".
Sharp criticism came from the opposition FPÖ for the Chancellor's move. "Compulsory testing, compulsory vaccination, compulsory labeling. ÖVP Chancellor Kurz cannot get out of the dream of popular surveillance," said FPÖ-EU spokeswoman Petra Steger in a broadcast on Wednesday evening. The member of the National Council rated Kurz's argument that he wanted to achieve maximum freedom in this way as "downright grotesque", especially since it was a matter of "full corona monitoring".
Virtual EU summit on Thursday
The virtual EU summit of heads of state and government on Thursday (from 3 p.m.) will revolve around coordination in the coronavirus pandemic and vaccine procurement. The topic will be faster approval procedures and an expansion of production capacities through closer cooperation between manufacturers. In the debate about a Europe-wide vaccination certificate, some countries are reluctant. Germany and France fear unequal treatment of those who have been vaccinated and those who have not been vaccinated as long as not all citizens can be vaccinated. Others point out that it is not yet clear whether a vaccination also protects against transmission of the virus.