EU reopens borders to 15 countries including China under reciprocity, USA excluded with Brazil and Russia


Servicetowards the ok to compromise

The list includes 14 countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Serbia, South Korea and Uruguay. Excluding the United States, Brazil and Russia

by our correspondent Beda Romano

Coronavirus, Austria reopens the borders with Italy

The list includes 14 countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Serbia, South Korea and Uruguay. Excluding the United States, Brazil and Russia

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BRUSSELS – The Twenty-Seven approved the compromise reached last week and related to the reopening of the European Union’s external borders to a list of third countries, in the wake of the waning of the flu epidemic. The diplomatic negotiation was long and bumpy, there are many variables that governments have had to take into account. Once the recommendation is approved, the commitment is binding from a political point of view.

The list includes 14 countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. To these is added China, in the event that there was reciprocity from the Asian country towards EU citizens. The United States, Brazil and Russia are excluded. According to the compromise, the Twenty-seven will be called to check the list every 14 days. 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 in the last 14 days have epidemiological levels similar to those in Europe. The opening of the borders, starting from July 1st, also concerns the residents of four European enclaves: Andorra, San Marino, Vatican and Montecarlo.

Italy also favorable

“There have been discussions with the hesitant countries over the weekend, because the abstention is against the vote”, explained a diplomat. Many countries are concerned about health and even political consequences (for example: opening borders to the Chinese, but keeping them closed to the Americans). All the big countries – Germany, France and Spain – would have given their assent. Italy, whose position until Monday evening appeared uncertain, also voted in favor of the compromise. Denmark and Ireland do not participate in the decision-making process because they enjoy exemptions in the field of home affairs. Approved was a recommendation.

Political commitment, not legal obligation

The external borders of the Union are common, but are managed sovereignly by the member countries. The agreement is therefore a political commitment, not a legal obligation. Governments will be able to modify the list, but bearing in mind the risks, should they open borders to countries not included in the list. The danger in this case is that in response the European partners reintroduce restrictions on the internal borders of the Schengen area, to avoid new infectious outbreaks.

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