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To a reopening of the borders of the EU

So that the epidemic of coronavirus is in sharp decline in Europe, a wind of freedom begins to blow on the continent. The Commission confirmed on Thursday the calendar in two time that it wishes to see applied by the member States for the internal borders of Schengen and the external borders of the EU, closed for nearly three months. The stakes are enormous, from an economic point of view but also in terms of the mode of life. Evidenced by the hundreds of calls or messages to european citizens on this question received each week by the Commission.

see also : Cacophony to the franco-German border

Brussels calls for lifting of restrictions on the internal borders as of June 15, next Monday. It is the date which is the culmination of the very large majority of member States, including Germany and France. A handful of countries - Denmark, Portugal and Spain - have chosen to re-open later. "The neighbors of Sweden (including the management of the pandemic has been criticized, editor's NOTE) are nervous, but they were talking about and we have good hope that they find soon enough a solution", says one Brussels. Poland, so long closed, jump to the step as early as Saturday. And Hungary has already lifted restrictions on its borders with Austria, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

You must open as soon as possible

Ylva Johansson, the european commissioner for home Affairs

Admittedly, the member States have any latitude to manage their borders as they see fit. But the message from the Commission is unambiguous: it must go fast. "You need to open as early as possible", stressed on Thursday the european commissioner for home Affairs Ylva Johansson.

On the basis of three criteria

with Respect to the external borders of the EU, the Commission hopes that the restrictions are beginning to be lifted from 1 July. "International travel is essential to tourism, business and to enable families and friends to meet", said the european commissioner, calling on member States to "make practical preparations for the lifting of the restrictions with the country whose health situation is similar to that of the EU, and to resume the operations of visa."

see also : summer Vacation: a country-by-country, the point on the reopening of borders within the european Union

It will be up to the member States and the Commission to establish the list of third countries which will benefit from the lifting of restrictions from 1 July. On the basis of three criteria: the epidemiological situation in the country concerned, the capacity to enforce the sanitary measures during the trip and reciprocity. For the time being, the question of the United States does not arise, the Europeans are not always allowed to enter on american soil.

But the discussions between Europeans could be difficult when it is necessary to make decisions on China, Russia or Brazil. "Some third countries may feel stigmatized. But if we fail to establish a list common to all, then it will be very difficult to consider the re-opening of external borders", says a source in brussels. Which fails in passage to remind that Cyprus already hosts travellers from third countries and that the Greece will do the same from Monday. Hence the urgent need to co-ordinate.

SEE ALSO - EU: towards a gradual lifting of restrictions on travel from July 1,

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