BRUSSELS – June 27: The European Union is shuffling a list of fifteen third countries to which the border could be opened from July 1, but in the long meeting this Friday, the ambassadors of the 27 failed to agree and have given themselves a deadline. until 6 pm this Saturday to decide whether to accept the proposed list.
As expected, the list does not include either the United States or Russia or Brazil, countries with an impact of the coronavirus much higher than the minimum that the EU has set.
Instead, China does appear, but with one important condition, reciprocity must be applied. That is, only the border with China will be opened if Beijing also opens its border to EU. This reciprocity is a condition that is expected to be imposed on all the countries on the list.
Among the states to which the border is proposed to open there are three from the Maghreb, an area of priority interest in Spain, such as Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. On the other hand, only Latin America includes Uruguay, when Spain had struggled to also include Paraguay and Cuba. The Balkans include Serbia and Montenegro.
Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria are on the Proposed List;
However, everything is pending consultation with the capitals, which have until Saturday afternoon to pronounce themselves. If at 18:00 no one has objected, the written procedure will be launched to make the decision official.
Let us remember that this is a recommendation and therefore, without legal obligation to follow it. Although politically, there is a great interest on the part of all the EU countries and especially, on the part of those in the Schengen area, to maintain a list group of countries to which the border is open.
Almost all Schengen members have now raised their internal borders.
For the elaboration of this list, the main criterion has been the epidemiological situation. Ensure that the number of infections in these countries is equal to or less than the European average.
In principle, the ambassadors started from the data provided by the European Agency for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), but being very aware of the unreliability of the data that was handled in many cases.
Another element that has been taken into account is the ability of these countries to test, trace, and treat outbreaks. The third criterion that is applied is reciprocity, that is, that the border is opened to countries that also allow the entry of travelers from EU countries.
Reciprocity from Third Countries is Required;
If there is an agreement on the common list, the EU will start opening its borders on Wednesday, but very gradually. The entry veto, decreed on March 16, will remain for the vast majority of third countries. The discussion is being as difficult as anticipated.
To the epidemiological criteria, which are the basis of the decision, are added the specific interests of each partner in the EU, which seeks arguments to include third states with whom they have closer relations.