Coronavirus emergency: the European Union is locking down its borders for thirty days. The leaders of the 27 countries of the Union have approved the proposal of the European Commission to introduce a temporary restriction for all non essential travel to the EU, for a period of 30 days, in order to cope with pandemic emergency from Covid-19. Europe thus forbids “non essential” travel to all foreign citizens.
The main goal of this drastic decision is to stem the spread of the infection as much as possible. Only residents, family members and certain professional figures such as doctors and health professionals are exempted from this restrictive measure. Therefore the restriction temporarily suspends the Schengen Treaty which provides for free movement of persons within the countries that have signed the agreement. The treaty, only in exceptional cases like this, can be waived or suspended for a period of two months.
The European Union is struggling with health emergency and economic crisis
EU states supported the work of the Eurogroup and the socio-economic measures of the Commission which asked the ministers of the economy to monitor this emergency situation. “We will do whatever it takes to restore confidence and support the recovery quickly,” said EU Council President Charles Michel.
“The economic package has been unanimously adopted by the member states of the EU – stressed the President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen – Since Friday the situation has worsened, it is very serious. It is an external shock we have never experienced before and we must do everything to protect the economy and people. We will not hesitate to take additional measures if the situation requires it. “
Borders closed in the European Union but not for the exchange of goods and medical material
European borders are closed to the transit of citizens but remain open for the exchange of goods and medical material. Ursula von der Leyen’s line has brought together European leaders who have declared Europe a “self-quarantined protected area”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to accept the proposal. Brussels has confirmed that the EU Commission will give ample flexibility on state aid. Therefore direct subsidy schemes or tax breaks up to 500 thousand euros can be established. Furthermore, it will be possible to provide subsidised state guarantees on bank loans and also to enable low interest rates loans.
Conte and Coronavirus-bond
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reiterated that we are facing an extraordinary crisis that must be met with extraordinary measures, according to the “whatever it takes” logic. For the Italian premier “nobody will remain unscathed before this economic and social tsunami”.
Among the possible tools to help the economy, Conte indicated the “Coronavirus-bonds”, or alternatively a European guarantee fund to support the initiatives to relaunch the economy of individual governments