EU Commission: Internal Border Controls Should Be Lifted in a Coordinated Manner

The European Union Commission has presented on Wednesday, April 15, a roadmap showing the path towards the common lifting of Coronavirus pandemic containment measures after some of the Member states have started to unilaterally return to normalcy.

The roadmap, which has been put forward in cooperation with the President of the European Council, among other, asserts that despite the EU is in firefighting mode, the necessary extraordinary measures taken by the Member States and the EU are working and have slowed down the spread of the virus.

Presenting the roadmap, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen asserted that despite conditions in the Member Countries still vary widely; there should be a unified approach to phasing out the current measures in force.

Responsible planning on the ground, wisely balancing the interests of protection of public health with those of the functioning of our societies, needs a solid foundation. That’s why the Commission has drawn up a catalogue of guidelines, criteria and measures that provide a basis for thoughtful action. The strength of Europe lies in its social and economic balance,” she said.

The roadmap establishes the key principles to going back to normalcy, noting that timing is essential accompanied by phasing-out confinement requires accompanying measures.

It also lists concrete recommendations the Member States should consider when planning to lift containment measures, including the abolition of the temporary internal border controls in a coordinated manner.

Travel restrictions and border controls should be removed once the border regions’ epidemiological situation converges sufficiently. The external border should be reopened in a second stage and take account of the spread of the virus outside the EU,” the roadmap reads.

Despite the EU’s roadmap, some of the Schengen States have already extended the internal border controls to the end of the year.

After France was the first EU and Schengen country to announce it has decided to keep its border controls in place for seven months, until the end of October 2020, a few other Member States have followed.

The official website of the European Commission reporting on the temporary reintroduction of border controls has listed Sweden and Denmark under the countries which have reintroduced borders in the context of foreseeable events. Both countries have extended border controls until November 12.

Sweden (May 12 – November 12 2020) Terrorist threats, shortcomings at the external borders; to be determined but may concern all internal borders,” the Commission reports on Sweden, one of the latest Schengen countries to reintroduce controls at all internal borders.

Whereas Denmark, the border controls introduced by which were set to expire on May 11, have been extended for another six months.