Gradual reopening of borders within EU discussed by Polish, German FMs

On Wednesday, Poland’s Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz spoke to German FM Heiko Maas about the gradual reopening of borders within the European Union during a videoconference which was attended by foreign affairs ministers of all of Germany’s neighbours.

Poland’s Foreign Ministry stated in a press release published on Wednesday, that both countries’ foreign ministers have spoken about reopening borders, after the European Commission had proposed a gradual lifting of internal EU borders before the summer.

“Minister Jacek Czaputowicz informed his interlocutors that Poland supports the plan proposed by the European Commission, which foresees a gradual lifting of border controls on [EU’s] internal borders, on the basis of objective criteria. However, the assessment of the current epidemiological situation remains crucial,” the statement reads.

The Polish Foreign Ministry also underlined that the opinion and recommendations of the country’s Health Minister will be crucial.

During the videoconference, Minister Czaputowicz also gave details of Poland’s changes to border-crossing rules, which have been amended in recent days and weeks. For instance, medical staff has been exempted from the obligation to undergo quarantine after entering Poland’s borders.

Temporary border controls on the EU’s internal borders were introduced on March 15 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been recently extended until June 12. Several EU member states have declared they will reopen their borders after June 15. Poland’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki has said that the country will open its borders if the current epidemiological situation allows it.