My Passport’s Green


This afternoon.

Ahead of the European Parliament’s voting on the COVID-19 ‘Digital Green Certificates’.

Via Belfast lawyer Ciarán McCollum (full article at link below)

Freedom of movement is perhaps the European Union’s most cherished achievement, certainly among northerners seeking a visa-free sun holiday. In my home of Northern Ireland, with our ever-fragile cross-border peace agreement, we have a special appreciation for the importance of keeping borders open.

The recent EU threat to impose a ‘vaccine border’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic imperilled that peace. The EU can’t afford another blunder on borders, so it’s in its own interest that the DGC does what it says on the tin.

However a cursory glance at the contents suggests a case of mislabeling or at least a lack of legal certainty.

The commission assures us that the DGC will not restore (or entrench) border controls. But “universal framework” can only be read as a euphemism for checks within the Schengen zone. It is article 3 of the DGC that creates certificates of vaccination, testing and immunity.

Border guards will have to inspect these.

As it’s put in Article 3(1), there will be “cross-border verification”, performed by the member state “authorities” mentioned in Article 9(2). In the absence of such checks, the certificates would be useless and the “universal framework” would not exist.

With vaccinated Europeans travellers separated from non-vaccinated, infected from non-infected, and immune from non-immune—the DGC, if applied, would be a guarantee of discrimination within the EU.

This is simply not permissable under the Schengen Code. Chapter II of the Schengen Borders Code allows for the temporary reintroduction of internal borders in some circumstances, but that does not include a public health emergency.

The whole endeavour is even more absurd if one acknowledges the scientific certainty that being vaccinated does not mean that one cannot be a carrier of the virus, nor infect others.

…The explanatory memorandum calls freedom of movement one of the EU’s “most cherished achievements” and a “driver of its economy”.

It is also a driver of peace in my home. The Northern Irish remain citizens of Europe without the Union, and will not accept being checked upon entry into what about a million of them consider their home: the neighbouring member state of Ireland. The prospect of violence is terrible.

Despite these risks and contrary to the recently introduced Better Regulation Rules, the DGC controls are being rushed through with nary a cost–benefit analysis, impact assessment or public consultation—and with limited parliamentary debate….(more at link below).

Ciarán McCollum is a Northern Irish barrister, advising on European law.

Legal worries on EU’s ‘green certificates’ for Covid travel (Euobserver)

Pic: EU

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12 thoughts on “My Passport’s Green

  1. Rob_G

    I’m pretty sure that, as Ireland is not in part of the Schengen area, none of the articles of the Schengen Borders Code the author is quoting apply in this instance.

  2. Nigel

    ‘The recent EU threat to impose a ‘vaccine border’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic imperilled that peace.’

    It’s a public health measure, not Brexit shenanigans. Funny how little complaint there was the last time we had a Foot And Mouth outbreak.

  3. des

    Everything is ok, Irish style.

    ROQU Group, led by Robert Quirke, will deliver the Irish Covid Health Passport.
    The same ex. IDA exec. Robert Quirke who sold over €14 million worth of faulty ventilators to HSE.
    When awarded this ventilator contract, ROQU has assets of €122.

    Choo choo, gravy train rocks on

  4. U N M U T U A L

    EU motto… ‘In varietate concordia’…

    ‘United in Diversity’ or Divisive Immunité?

  5. eoin

    These vax passports are here to stay. Either subject yourself to the experimental jab that neither inoculates you nor prevents you from spreading the flu, or be forced to stay at home. And no doubt the next step will be door to door testing and vax enforcement, until we are all compliant slaves to the pharma lords.

    1. f_lawless

      @eoin – I agree that the intention is for this new bio-surveillance system to be permanently up and running but for my part, I won’t giving in to learned helplessness. There’s always going to be a section of the population who can’t see, or refuse to accept what is happening and although they may currently be in the majority, I think there’s a growing section of the public who are instinctively realising something is very wrong and that our elected representatives are not acting in our best interests. Those members of the public have to actively come together now more than ever in persistent acts of protest and civil disobedience – as has been happening to a much greater extent in other countries. Mass protest is the one tool we have to stop this new system in its tracks.

      In Dublin the next gathering is happening May 1st at the Customs House. No speeches being made, from what I read. Just an opportunity for people to together in a show of solidarity. I’ve heard that in Cork there’s also an event planned. London too – which is bound to be massive

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