When will BiH join the EU Digital COVID Certificate system?

After several months of blocking the work of state institutions, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina this week gave consent to the Ministry of Civil Affairs to express interest in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s accession to the EU Digital COVID Certification system, Fena news agency writes.

Namely, Bosnia and Herzegovina still does not have a single digital confirmation of the Covid status of BiH citizens, although the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs started consultations with all levels of government on this issue in May.

Following this decision of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Civil Affairs is obliged to organize a ministerial conference in the field of health to discuss the possibility of harmonizing the technical solution and legal framework for the verification of digital Covid-19 certificates in BiH.

The aim is to ensure that the Covid certificates issued are internationally recognized, in order to enable the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to travel freely to the countries of Europe and the world.

As spokesperson of the Delegation of the European Union and the Office of the European Union Special Representative in BiH Ferdinand Koenig told FENA the goal of the EU digital Covid certificates is to facilitate movement during the coronavirus pandemic.

During her visit to BiH, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed hope that BiH would soon join the EU platform for digital Covid certificates, as this would greatly facilitate travel between the EU and BiH.

“In order for a non-EU country to join the EU platform for digital Covid certificates, its certificates must be in line with international standards and have comparable security features. In that case, the Covid certificates of these countries are accepted under the same conditions as the EU digital Covid certificate,” Koenig added.

He noted, however, that BiH has not yet submitted a request to join the EU platform for digital Covid certificates because the BiH authorities are in the process of coordinating activities to prepare the application, and the European Union is ready to support BiH in these efforts.

Earlier in an interview with FENA, the head of the OSCE Mission to BiH, Kathleen Kavalec, also addressed the issue of solving real problems of citizens in a country where the work of state institutions does not function.

“Why do BiH citizens not have access to a QR code to prove that they have been vaccinated and which would enable them to travel freely to Europe, why political leaders cannot agree on something so simple that would improve the living situation of all citizens of this country,” asked Kavalec.

Namely, BiH citizens who have QR codes on the vaccination certificate are not valid in European Union countries. The QR code issued by the cantonal and entity authorities is not recognized.

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