One month after the Commission proposal for a digital green certificate, representatives of the eHealth network Member States agreed on guidelines describing the main technical specifications for the implementation of the system.

This is a key step towards the creation of the necessary infrastructure at EU level.

At the same time, Member States are encouraged to introduce the necessary technical solutions at national level rapidly.

In order to ensure the introduction of the digital green certificate throughout the Union by June 2021, it is essential to advance work on technical implementation in parallel with the ongoing legislative process.

The agreed technical specification shall cover the data structure and coding mechanisms, including the QR code, which will ensure that all certificates, digital or paper, can be read and verified throughout the Union.

The guidelines also describe the EU gateway.

Established by the European Commission, it will allow the sharing of keys to electronic signatures so that the authenticity of the digital green certificate can be verified throughout the Union.

No personal data of certificate holders shall be passed through the gateway, as this is not necessary for verification purposes.

Finally, the guidelines describe the reference implementations for the software for issuing digital green certificates, a reference application for the verification of certificates, and a wallet application model that allows citizens to retain certificates.

It will be up to Member States to set up such systems at national level, but the reference implementations will help to speed up work, as Member States will have a basis from which to start.

In order for the digital green certificate to be introduced in June, technical implementation must progress in parallel with the legislative process.

The next technical steps will be the creation of national infrastructures, the introduction of national solutions for the issue, verification and preservation of digital green certificates and the establishment of the EU gateway.

After a pilot phase in May, the EU gateway should be ready from June to allow Member States to connect.

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