In their meetings with video conferencing, EU heads of state and government discussed the “vaccine passport” demands with the proposal to close or not close the Schengen borders while combating the mutation of the Corona virus in the UK and other countries.
At the EU summit, which convened to determine a common stance in combating new strains of the virus, the opinion of pre-testing at the crossings between the internal borders of the EU was adopted, while the “vaccine passport” application, which caused an ethical debate, was not accepted for now. “We strongly recommend avoiding any unnecessary travel,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
EU heads of state and government spoke about joint measures to be taken to combat new versions of the Corona virus in discussions held by video conferencing in Brussels, which lasted about 5 hours. If new versions of the virus, which started to spread rapidly in the EU and caused many member states such as Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal to harden the measures, cannot be prevented, the issue of total closure will come to the agenda.
No compromise in closing borders
At the summit, members who want to protect tourism, such as Greece, and members who advocate radical measures such as Hungary to cut the speed of the virus, proposed the “vaccine passport” system, which includes open borders to those who are vaccinated.
However, some members, especially the EU administration and France, raised the view that this would not be ethical since not everyone has access to the vaccine yet. It was also emphasized that it is not yet known whether the vaccine reduces-completely the infectious effect of the virus.
Members who opposed the vaccine passport also drew attention to the fact that this application would require a lot of technical infrastructure, instead, with the view that it would be more correct to make negative PCR Corona virus testing mandatory, they defended the proposal to make testing at the internal borders of the EU.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced at the summit that the test requirement will also be imposed on passengers from other countries within the EU as of Sunday night in his country. A joint decision was not taken at the end of the summit, but over 10 countries embraced the possibility to require negative PCR Corona virus testing as of next Sunday night.
Organizing a post-summit press conference, EU Council President Charles Michel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that the mutated new type of virus is spreading rapidly all over Europe and they take this situation very seriously.
Noting that issues such as “vaccination certificate” or “vaccine passport” create division within the EU, Council President Charles Michel said, “All members must agree on the common elements to be included in a certificate for medical use. We will keep our internal borders open, but the same. “Limitations should be placed on time travel,” he said.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told EU citizens “We strongly recommend canceling all non-essential travels”. However, he emphasized that the functioning of the European single market is also extremely important. “It will continue to be allowed to move workers and goods across borders smoothly,” said the Commissioner.
The mutation of the virus, which is seen in 60 countries around the world, was first detected in England, which also worries the EU administration. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “If we cannot stop this virus in the world, new versions will emerge. Therefore, it is of great importance that the whole world is vaccinated.”
At the meeting, concern was also expressed about the delay in vaccines produced by Pfizer. Pfizer promised that the delay in distribution would be compensated within a week.