French government “reticent” about European vaccination passport

France is "reticent" about creating a Community vaccination passport against Covid-19 and considers that this issue should not be addressed at next week's European Council, admitted the Secretary of State for European Affairs.

Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters

"We are very reluctant," said Clément Beaune today in statements to radio France Info, reproduced by the French news agency AFP, in which the government official acknowledged that "it is too premature" to still "speak of a paper, a document, which authorizes the travel in Europe ”.

The same source considered that this "is a debate that has no reason to be" and that "it would be shocking, when this vaccination campaign in Europe starts everywhere, that there are people with more rights than others".

“This is not our conception of protection and access to vaccines”, justified the French official.

Clément Beaune thus reacted to the idea put forward by the Prime Minister of Greece for the European Union to adopt a “standardized” certificate of vaccination to give a boost to the tourist industry, one of the economic activities most affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

The idea of ​​creating a vaccination document has the favorable position of the European Commission, according to its president, Ursula von der Leyen, who said it was a “medical imperative”.

This view is not shared by the World Health Organization (WHO), which said it was "for the moment" against the initiative on a global scale.

“This is an idea (…) about which France believes that there should be no debate now. When access to vaccination is widespread, it will be another matter ”, argued the French Secretary of State for European Affairs.

On the other hand, the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, addressed the situation of frontier workers, who numbered 350.000 Frenchmen, and defended a “reinforcement within the European space of control measures”, but without a border closure in the Schengen area.

"We are also going to check the type of tests that may be required", he added, advancing the possibility of creating "a list of antigens tests that are recognized across Europe", a situation that "does not yet happen".

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