A Lot Of – however not all – EU member states have actually dedicated to opening borders and associated travel limitations by mid-June
It follows calls by the European Commission to bring back flexibility of motion within the EU, as the continent was under virtual shutdown for 3 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Nevertheless, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia declined making a concrete dedication throughout the conference of home affairs ministers on Friday (5 June).
Likewise, Spain revealed that its borders will just open from July – causing neighbouring Portugal to embrace the exact same position.
“I believe we will return to the full functioning of the Schengen Area and the freedom of movement of citizens no later than the end of June – both the health and political situation allows it,” stated the commissioner for home affairs Ylva Johansson after the videoconference with member states on Friday.
The epidemiological scenario in Europe shows a “strong positive convergence,” she stated, including that “health authorities made clear that there is no longer a clear justification for travel restrictions or border measures in the EU and Schengen Area”.
Brand-new coronavirus infections in the EU have declined below 100 per 100,000 people throughout the last 2 weeks, according to the information from the European Centre for Illness Avoidance and Control showed the home affairs ministers.
The commission formerly revealed a three-phase method to slowly resume internal borders – when there is a comparable epidemiological scenario in various countries or areas.
In addition, most of member states wish to extend the EU’s travel restriction on non-EU nationals till 1 July.
Although the UK will be exempt, numerous member states will require British residents to follow 2 weeks quarantine.
Absence of coordination – once again?
Given that the start of the coronavirus break out, some member states have actually been taking unilateral procedures – consisting of export restrictions on medical products or the closure of borders.
This absence of coordination can still be seen in the context of border limitations. While some countries have actually enforced quarantine or coronavirus screening results for visitors, others permit entry into their area with no limitations.
The Netherlands picked Wednesday to at first open its borders just for nationals of 12 members states – specifically Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic.
Likewise, Croatia chose to resume its borders for residents of 10 countries.
Nevertheless, commissioner Johansson cautioned that “the citizenship of the individual going into an area is not an appropriate element because many [EU] residents do not live in their member state of citizenship”.
In addition, Denmark will permit its residents to take a trip to Germany, Iceland and Norway from June 15 as the risk-level of these 3 countries will be devalued from ‘orange’ to ‘yellow’.
Spain was required last Thursday into a U-turn after it revealed that its borders with Portugal and France would be open this month – without notifying Lisbon about such procedure.
Ultimately, the Spanish minister of tourist clarified that “international mobility” would not resume till July.
‘ No Schengen, no recovery’
MEPs likewise gotten in touch with Thursday on member states to raise all internal border control to bring back the regular performance of the Schengen location.
“If there is no Schengen, there is no recovery. Without a fully functional Schengen there will neither be a recovery nor a promising future for the EU,” stated socialist MEP Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, who chairs the committee of civil liberties and home affairs.
“We must see restrictions on the freedom of movement reduced to the same extent as the relaxation of Covid-19 containment measures,” stated MEP Ioan-Rareș Bogdan from the European People’s Party.
The concept of complimentary motion of people in the EU was first threatened in 2015 when some member specifies presented border checks due to the migration crisis – a few of them then kept those controls in location.