Because of the health crisis and in order to limit the spread of Covid-19, EU borders are closed. But while inhabitants in many countries are no longer contained at home, French and German National Assembly presidents, Richard Ferrand, and Wolfgang Schäuble, call for EU borders to quickly reopen in the Schengen area.
“France and Germany must work for the immediate restoration of free movement within the Schengen area, as soon as the conditions are met” Richard Ferrand and Wolfgang Schäuble explained in a joint statement.
These closures are not without consequences, as Richard Ferrand and his German counterpart say. “The closure of the Franco-German border has already had heavy consequences, which go well beyond the border region and weigh, in particular, on the perception of Franco-German relations” they say. This statement comes only two days after a meeting planned at the French-German parliamentary assembly.
For the record, the European Union wished to coordinatingly reopen EU borders and recommended the twenty-seven countries of the Union to keep borders outside the European Union closed until June 15th. Italy has yet already announced borders will reopen to EU tourists from June 3rd. Spain and Greece expect to reopen their borders from July 1st.
Interviewed on France Inter on May 26, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs wanted to reassure French by saying: “On June 15th, we will be very clear as for the possibility to open EU inner borders more. […] Today, there are controls, circulation restrictions with the European space that are gradually made softer to enable an easier way for cross-border workers and medical staff” Jean-Yves Le Drian said, before adding that we “will have to comprehend the situation at the end of the week to see if we can go beyond the openings”.
As for borders outer EU, closed until June 15, the Minister says that “they will be probably still closed afterwards” because “the pandemic is spreading in other countries in an extremely significative fashion, we will have to protect ourselves”.