Lifting of border checks should be done with proportionality

Coordination between Member States continues to be essential with improving the health situation

Photo: EU Davor Božinović.

With improving the health situation, the majority of EU countries plan to lift the controls at their internal borders and the travel restrictions by 15 June, and the others will do so until the end of the month. At a videoconference on Friday, organised by the Croatian Presidency, the EU Home Affairs ministers discussed the response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the field of internal border controls and the free movement of persons.

EU Member States and institutions have worked closely together to contain the spread of the virus, Davor Božinović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Croatia stated noting that coordination continues to be essential now when the situation is improving. “We need to ensure that the lifting of controls is done with proportionality and avoiding any discrimination based on nationality. Only by working together can we provide citizens the certainty they need to get their lives moving again,” Minister Božinović pointed out.

Member States have also exchanged views on possible lifting of restrictions which have been in place for third-country nationals and on the criteria and measures on the basis of which the restrictions would be lifted.

The Croatian Presidency as well reported about the EU-US ministerial videoconference in the area of justice and home affairs, held on 28 May. The topics discussed included European and American views on important issues in the area of justice and home affairs during and after the pandemic, whereby the focus was on the exchange of information on measures taken, lessons learned and plans for the upcoming period. Specifically EU-US talks touched upon four major areas of cooperation- crime during the Covid-19 outbreak, effectiveness of restrictive measures, travel conditions and visa reciprocity, fight against disinformation related to pandemic, and challenges in the area of justice as a result of the pandemic.

Malta informed other Member States on the current migration situation in the Central Mediterranean and on difficulties it faces in the reception of migrants. The Croatian Presidency expressed its gratitude for the past efforts in addressing the migrant crisis and its support to Malta and the Commission for their efforts in finding the appropriate solution to the problems that the Central Mediterranean is facing.

The Commission submitted a written report to the ministers on the implementation of the Interoperability Regulation, and the Presidency delivered a report on excellent results achieved within the framework of EMPACT in the fight against serious international and organised crime.

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