Borders, EU seeking agreement on reopening. For now excluding the USA


ServiceCoronavirus emergency

The Croatian presidency of the Union has decided to launch a written procedure on Monday to approve the draft agreement

by our correspondent Beda Romano

Europe reopens borders after coronavirus emergency

The Croatian presidency of the Union has decided to launch a written procedure on Monday to approve the draft agreement

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A handful of days are missing until 1 July, the date by which the Twenty-seven must decide whether to reopen the external borders of the European Union or further renew the restrictions on non-essential travel from third countries. The epidemic that is affecting around the world complicates a selection of countries which is not trivial from a political point of view. Among other things, member countries must decide whether to open borders to the Chinese, but not to the Americans.

Diplomats here in Brussels have negotiated in recent days an epidemiological criterion with which to establish whether or not to open external borders to individual third countries. The parameter envisages that borders can be opened with countries that have on average fewer than 16 new patients per 100 thousand inhabitants in the last 14 days. A list of 14 countries emerged: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

To this list would be added China, if there was reciprocity from the Asian country towards EU citizens. The United States, Brazil and Russia would be excluded. According to the compromise still to be approved definitively, the Twenty-seven would be called to check the list every 14 days, on the basis of the health indications. The Croatian presidency of the Union decided yesterday evening to launch a written procedure to approve the draft agreement on Monday.

The outcome of the vote appears uncertain. Some countries are unwilling to open external borders too quickly, for fear of endangering the precarious health situation in Europe. Others push instead for the reopening to be as generous as possible, in order to take advantage of it from a tourist point of view. On this front, Greece appears particularly combative. Italy and Spain are more expected. Others then do not want to provoke tensions with the United States.

According to a diplomat, the external borders should also be reopened to some microstates, specific European enclaves, such as the Vatican, Montecarlo, San Marino and Andorra. A qualified majority of Member States is required to approve the compromise. It should be borne in mind that abstention is equivalent to voting against.

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