Croatia to establish working group on “green certificates”

Croatia to establish working group on “green certificates”

The Croatian government will establish a working group with the aim to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates in Croatia.

“Τhe vaccination of employees in the tourism sector begins with the third phase of vaccination. I believe this will be very soon,” said the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, adding that based on data received so far in the proposed surveys, the number of employees who would enter priority vaccination in the tourism sector is about 68,000, according to reports by HRTurizam.

“Given the nature of the work as well as the significant number of contacts of tourism workers, it is necessary to vaccinate before the start of the season,” said Brnjac.

At Thursday’s 52nd Government session, the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) proposed a Decision to establish a working group to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates.

“We will soon start creating a digital system of certificates of vaccination, testing, and recovery to enable citizens of the Republic of Croatia and the EU free and epidemiologically safe cross-border mobility and residence in our country,” said Davor Božinović, Minister of the Interior.

Namely, the European Commission is coordinating a common European response to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic. Following the progression of the epidemiological situation and health and medical measures, it is necessary that other effective measures to combat COVID-19 are developed, and that free movement in EU member states and third countries is enabled, or that green digital certificates, so-called ‘covid passports’ are established.

Therefore, they have recognized the need to ensure freedom of cross-border movement through establishing a system for issuing, verifying, and accepting vaccination, testing, and recovery certificates to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (digital green certificate), which would be interoperable between the EU Member States and third countries.

To this end, on 17 March 2021, the European Commission presented a Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a framework for issuing, verifying, and accepting cross-border interoperable vaccination, testing, and recovery certificates to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (digital green certificate).

Croatia has expressed readiness to establish a national system of digital green certificates and their cross-border interoperability through the EU accession plan that the European Commission plans to establish in April, May, and June 2021, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

To establish a technical solution and to develop a national system of digital green certificates, the Ministry of the Interior is tasked with concluding a contract with AKD d.o.o. (Agency for commercial activity production, service, and trade d.o.o.), since AKD was established to perform the tasks of creating personal ID cards, passports, visas, driver’s licenses and other solutions in the field of identity and security.

The Decision instructs the Ministry of Health to provide the Working Group referred to in this Decision with all necessary professional support, especially in fulfilling the following tasks: representing Croatia in the operational working groups of the European Commission’s eHealth Network, which coordinates implementing the pilot project of the technical solution for digital green certificates; ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, availability, and non-repudiation of machine-readable data on vaccinated, tested and sick persons automatically and in real-time, accessible from data sources owned by the Ministry of Health, which will be the basis for issuing cross-border interoperable digital green certificates.

It is recalled that, according to the new and expanded criteria for the entry of tourists into Croatia, tourists who have either been vaccinated, contracted COVID-19, or can present a negative PCR or antigen test from the list of EU tests, are allowed to enter Croatia. /ibna