V4 Supports EU Commission’s Recommendation of Opening External Borders

The Visegrad Four (V4) countries have supported a recommendation of the European Commission to the EU Member States to gradually reopen external borders from July 1, which remained closed due to Coronavirus pandemic developments.

Members of V4 – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia –  have decided to open their borders according to the recommendation of the Commission, the Ministry of Interior of Slovakia said in a press conference last Thursday at a meeting of the V4 Prime Ministers, reports.

Among others, the Commission recommends that the reopening of the European Union’s external borders should take place based on a common coordinated approach.

The European Commission recommendations for the Member States and the Associated States of the Schengen Area are as follows:

  • internal border controls introduced due to the spread of COVID-19 should be abolished by June 15,
  • the extension of the temporary restriction for insignificant travel to EU territory should remain valid until June 30 June
  • From July 1, a common approach to the gradual abolition of travel restrictions also at the external borders of the Union should be set.

As Coronavirus infection cases continue to be active in several European countries, the European Commission does not propose a general lifting of travel restrictions yet.

European Union executive suggested that the lifting of travel restrictions from July 1 should apply to passengers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia and Serbia, as the epidemiological situation in these countries is similar to or better than that in the countries of the Union.

The Visegrad Four (V4) countries support the  European Union action regarding the crisis caused by the COVID-19, Slovakia’s Prime Minister Igor Matovič stressed at a press conference after the meeting of the Prime Ministers of the V4 countries.

The prime ministers also discussed the European Union’s multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027, “a reconstruction fund to help EU member states restart their economies affected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic.”

“On behalf of our countries, we fully support the joint action of all countries of the European Union to eliminate the effects of the greatest economic crisis we are on the brink of since the Second World War,”  PM Matovič said.

He also said that the V4 countries are “open to any discussion”, noting that as equal members of the European Community they need more trust, freedom and justice in the distribution of funds on the part of the European Commission.