The Legal Implications of COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates: Implementation Experiences from Nordic and Baltic Region | Pages 209-223 | PDF

Irena Barkane, Dr. iur., Researcher
University of Latvia, Latvia 

Katharina O’Cathaoir, PhD, Associate Professor
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Santa Slokenberga, LL.D., Senior Lecturer
Uppsala University, Sweden 

Helen Eenmaa, JSD, Researcher,
University of Tartu, Estonia 

Keywords: COVID-19 technologies, fundamental rights, necessity, non-discrimination, proportionality, vaccination certificates

EU Digital green certificates were initially envisaged as a joint EU initiative to facilitate free movement during the pandemic. However, many countries rapidly extended their use in different contexts at the national level, raising serious ethical and legal concerns and questions, in particular, on how to strike a right balance between the interests of the individual and the interests of society. The paper aims to explore the legal implications of using vaccination certificates at the national level, in particular by exploring and comparing practices in selected Nordic and Baltic countries. The article emphasises that, despite COVID-19 crises, the governments should protect fundamental rights and values and when deciding on new restrictions carefully assess their necessity and proportionality. National responses call for a new regulatory framework to ensure responsible use of digital technologies in public interests.