Home Affairs Ministers Agree to a Common Approach to the Lifting of Restrictions at the EU Internal and External Borders
Today, 5 June, Minister Aleš Hojs took part in an informal meeting of home affairs ministers via video conference.
In their discussion, the ministers focused on the lifting of the measures at internal borders and the restoration of free movement of persons in the European Union. The ministers agreed with the European Commission’s recommendations that the lifting of measures should proceed in a coordinated and transparent manner and be done in phases, by taking into account the epidemiological situation in individual member states and in accordance with the principles of proportionality and non-discrimination. The majority of member states will have lifted the measures at internal borders by 15 June, with the rest to follow until the end of June.
Minister Hojs informed the other ministers of the gradual easing of measures for crossing the Slovenian state border. “This is in line with the European Commission’s recommendations,” Hojs said, adding that “Slovenia supports a unified approach at the level of the European Union and the European Commission’s call to member states to speed up the lifting of measures in order to restore the functioning of the Schengen Area with free movement of persons as soon as possible.”
The ministers also discussed the measures at the EU external borders and supported a common European approach, based on the epidemiological situation in third countries. According to Minister Hojs, Slovenia is ready to exchange information on COVID-19 situation in third countries with the European Commission and with member states, and supports the elaboration of common criteria at the level of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Next week the European Commission will publish a report on gradual lifting of restrictions for non-essential travel to the European Union from third countries, which will include the list of third countries with no-restrictions travel regime.
The Maltese delegation updated ministers on the problems they face as a result of disembarkation of migrants. The Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson called upon member states to show solidarity with Malta, indicating in no uncertain terms that by solidarity she meant relocation. Minister Hojs said that he had informed the Maltese interior minister a week ago that Slovenia could not take on any additional burdens at this stage.
At the end of the meeting, the German representative presented a work programme of the incoming German presidency.