European Commission to introduce EU wide Covid Passports

Jan Mortier* –  Civitatis Forum 

The European Commission is proposing to create a Digital Green Certificate to “facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Commission has undemocratic powers to publish a Regulation, which is a law by decree, which all EU member states must implement in their own jurisdictions as state law. Usually, member states go through a two year show of parliamentary debate and ratification of EC regulations, which automatically becomes law two years from publication by the Commission or sooner.  

This EU wide decree for a Vaccine / Covid Passport that is in reality a Digital ID card that tracks the bearer, will apply to all EU 27 member states and to all of the 447 million people of the EU. None of whom had a say in this decree, which is now to be imposed upon them by the European Commission, although some negotiation is allowed to member states.  

“Vice-President for Values and Transparency at the European Commission, V?ra Jourová said: “The Digital Green Certificate offers an EU-wide solution…” Every single one of the 447 million EU Citizens will now have to have this digital ID card, which the commissions claims is not a Covid passport, and will “ensure that EU citizens benefit from a harmonised digital tool to support free movement in the EU.” Seemingly ignoring that one of the founding human rights and principles of the EU is already the freedom of movement of peoples, it appears that the Commission thinks that their “Solution” is based on an “App” that makes you free.  

The European Commission, which is an unelected body, claims that the “Digital Green Certificates” won’t be discriminatory, because everyone, no matter who they are will have to carry the “Digital Green Certificate, in particular the unvaccinated and visitors to the EU. The Commission proposes that those who have to bear this App will not become second-class citizens and will still be free because they will have the choice to have either a paper QR code or a digital QR code App in their phone that will include, their names, date of birth and assigned number in the code.  

The QR code is a two-dimensional barcode. So all 447 EU Citizens will now by European Commission promulgated law has to have their own unique barcoded mark. It is unclear as to the fate of those deemed undesirable or who refuse to bear this mark.  

In 1942 when the USA and Canadians decreed that Japanese Americans and Canadians were “undesirables” and “alien enemies of the state” through President Roosevelt’s Proclamation 2537 and Prime Minister Mackenzie King’s Order in Council 1665, all Japanese people living in these countries were mandatorily required to obtain a “Certificate of Identification” and carry it “at all times”. Although not quite having to wear a coloured star, Japanese people were not allowed to enter restricted areas; violators of these regulations were subject to arrest, detention and internment in camps for the duration of the war. Many of whom spent nine years in the camps and lost their homes, all possessions, and their businesses and loved ones.  

The European Commission claims that the “Digital Green Certificate” will only be temporary until the World Health Organisation declares the pandemic over. But, In July 2020 the World Health Organisation’s emergency committee warned that the coronavirus pandemic was likely to be “lengthy”. As war shows us, a quick “military intervention” or surgical strike” can too easily turn into decades long war, conflict and occupation. And how quickly has a few days to flatten the curve become a year? What will this policy be if the virus routinely mutates or achieves 100% infection of the world population? Are we to live in permanent lockdowns requiring government permission to go for a walk or to the shop, or to see dying relatives? Will this require martial law enforcement? Where will this state of affairs lead? And what will happen to those conscientious objectors who do not wish to follow the decrees of the new Covidism? Will they be declared the new “undesirables” and “enemies of the state”?  

The European “Digital Green Certificate” and the British “Vaccine Passport” their QR barcode mark and App will be able to monitor and track the movement of all EU and UK citizens to ensure their safety and freedom. Perhaps governments will deem citizens are safest by remaining fifteen kilometres from their homes? Scanning a QR code into your phone gives permission to the makers and owners of the QR code near unlimited potential to monitor your phone, access your private data and track and record your speech and movements. At the start of the Covid crisis, many governments took the opportunity to quietly pass draconian surveillance laws that would make Hitler blush. All smart phones automatically became increased surveillance tools of the state and big tech, and no one objected because they were being paid to sit at home and watch TV.  

The Chinese Communist Party has been successfully using the QR code app system and digital ID cards and certificates for their Social Credit Score System, which is the envy of the leaders of the west who have wet dreams of feudal control over the useless eaters and the great unwashed who might rise up against them and drag them out of their ivory towers into the streets for forcing the closure of their livelihoods were it not for the public being bought off with furlough pay cheques at a cost of hundreds of billions of future debt that will seriously increase the tax burden on the European citizenry for generations to come.   

UK Labour Party leader, and human rights barrister Sir Keir Starmer QC had a taste of what is to come for politicians from his disastrous visit to a pub in Bath where he was thrown out and then barred by the Landlord of the pub Rod Humphris for talking down to Mr. Humphris. Humphris accused Starmer of not doing his job of opposing the government lockdown polices, and then asked him: “Why have we just accepted the loss of all our freedoms?” Starmer told Humphris “I don’t need to have lectures from you”. He then proceeded to wander into the man’s pub inviting an angry expulsion. Current UK Covid regulations prohibit entering pubs, requiring pubgoers to be seated outside only. Perhaps if Sir Keir had had a QR code freedom app on his phone, it would have alerted him that he was not allowed to enter the pub in the first place or not to have been allowed to have travelled fifteen kilometres from his home, thus saving Starmer his embarrassment. 

So QR codes, digital certificates and social credit scores are to be the new normal. In 2015, the People’s Bank of China licensed eight companies to begin a trial of social credit systems that evolved into a government decreed blacklist that has successfully denied air travel to at least 27 million people, and rail travel to 6 million people who are deemed by the government to be “dishonest”. The Social Credit Score is linked to bank credit status and government / ruling party opinion. In the west this system would disadvantage the poor, effectively criminalising them and preventing their travel while the one percent get to fly on their private jets to visit tourist spots unbothered by the now absent and locked down peasant hoards.  

Here in Europe we have our cherished freedoms, or at least we think we do, after thousands of years of human history, human rights are a very young concept that were only really codified after the Nuremberg Trials seventy five years ago. Pre World War II Europe showed that the western economic system is quite compatible with political totalitarianism. It is the duty of European civil society then to guard against the excesses of our leaders and to hold them to account for their deeds. If the people of Europe are to lose their liberties and freedoms bestowed upon them by the leaders of the post war social contract than our leaders should deliver us real economic development, opportunity and prosperity as the Chinese leaders have done for their people, who seem to accept less freedom in return for more prosperity.  

In the March quarter of 2021, the Chinese economy grew at 18.30 percent accelerating sharply from a 6.5 percent growth in the fourth quarter and has a stated aim of 6 percent GDP growth for 2021. Compared with the European Union GDP growth, which contracted 4.60 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 and bottoming out at a staggering minus 13.8 percent in July 2020. Europeans are not yet at the point of heading to the hills to grow food and dig bunkers. The European recession has not yet become a depression. But, it officially will be if there is no GDP increase to real economic growth within two years of the lockdowns. It is at that future point of realisation that the European public will likely revolt and drag the politicians out into the streets.   

Sadly today, the world lacks the leading philosopher architects of the human rights inspired institutions like Aristotle, Hugo Grotius, Lionel Curtis, Eleanor Roosevelt, Aristide Briand, Jean Monnet or René Cassin. There has been the lone voice of political common sense in this new era of Covidism in the thoughts of Lord Jonathan Sumption, but there is no guiding voice for an economic revival that addresses the global challenges. What emanates from the fabulously wealthy World Economic Forum is at best banal and at worst dystopian, and appears to forget the world’s poor concentrating instead on a Great Reset, Internet of Things and Artificial intelligence and that will plug in to the human consciousness direct from Davos. The real human needs are that more than eighty percent of the world’s population lives on less than ten dollars a day. Almost half the world’s population, over three billion people, live on less than two dollars and fifty cents a day. These people need food, water and shelter not Apps, cloud servers and abstract concepts.  

Perhaps now is the time for leaders to consider humility in that they do not have the answers to the pandemic and declaring war on a virus is about effective as declaring war on the wind. Pandemics evaporate in time. Instead of shutting down and destroying the blue-collar worker economy, while exempting the white-collar workers who could work from home, states should have just increased investment in building and equipping hospitals and training medical staff.  

Maybe leaders should consider creating a new functionalist institution helping humanity along its next steps; there are enough challenges present and ahead that will require integration rather than disintegration as the model. The working peace system of today’s global governance is more like David Mitrany’s peace system that was built around international agencies with functional responsibilities, rather than Lionel Curtis’s dream of federal world. The experiment of the European Union has been complicated by the European Commission’s ability to rule by decree and the European Parliament not being the executive authority with initiative. The evolutions of the agencies of the European Union also seem stunted in their present form.  

The founding of the Council of Europe was a good attempt at a broader model, out of which came the European Court of Human Rights. Yet, the Council never became the universally inclusive organisation it was hoped to be at its inception. Creating new institutions is not always the answer to global systemic challenges and they are often sidelined by the great powers anyway or used as tools when needed and discarded like toys when not. But, just maybe instead of conjuring new ideologies of “resets” based on technology, flying robots, the acute horror of trans-humanism, Artificial Intelligence and the automation of human jobs, which will only exclude large sections of the world population from progress, leaders should consider something more representative of the people’s of the world’s collective consciousness: An institution that is more serene and less structural while being complementary to the goals of present institutions and governments, somewhere for meaningful and considered thought, discussion and action, but at the global level.  

With the new rising polarities in the world who express differing viewpoints, outlooks and goals from those who designed the post World War II architecture, and who even offer a different model and conceptual paradigm of political thinking and economic development, maybe it is time for a new inclusive multipolar and universal conversation about the future for not only global economic renewal but about what kind of future we want for all peoples and all nations on this planet?; and where our human civilisation is likely to be heading given the current trajectory and common challenges we face?, But most importantly, the human family needs a conversation about what kind of world do we want to live in?


*Jan Mortier is Chairman of the Civitatis Forum [ ] a private discussion and research forum for Heads of Diplomatic Missions.