Discontent in Paris over "unilateral decisions" on the borders of Italy and Spain. French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner yesterday urged his European partners to further coordinate on borders, after Spain imposed a 14-day quarantine on travelers from abroad , including Europeans, and Italy announced that it will open its borders from June 3 with the countries of the European Union without the need to quarantine.

"It is essential that we can make coordinated decisions at the European level, especially within the Schengen area. This is not the case today," said Castaner during a visit to Veules-les-Roses (Normandy, north-western France), coinciding with the first weekend of de-escalation in France after two months of confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision of Madrid and Rome to act on their own without coordinating with their European partners have not gone down well in Paris. "The unilateral decision of Spain, this week, and of Italy, announced this morning [yesterday] does not reinforce what we have to do to work in solidarity, " Castaner added in statements to the French press. The minister was scheduled to speak to his Italian counterpart over the weekend.

Castaner was not the only French government to regret the lack of European coordination on the matter. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State for Tourism, told France Inter that the European Union "could do better" when coordinating on the reopening of borders after de-escalation.

Although Lemoyne understands the wishes of his Italian neighbors to "relaunch the tourist economy with the European engine", he considered that we still have to be cautious because there are still dozens of deaths every day from Covid-19 and "the virus does not go on vacation" .

Quarantine crossing

Spain imposes until May 24 a quarantine of 14 days on all people arriving from abroad, including Europe, except for citizens who go to their place of residence, those who have a long-term visa issued by one of the member states of the European Union, cross-border workers and people accrediting a personal reason for force majeure, among others.

This decision, which was made without notifying Paris, did not sit well on the Elysee Palace. The French government announced Thursday that it would impose its own quarantine on travelers from Spain, citing "reasons of reciprocity."

There are currently travel restrictions between Spain and France due to the coronavirus. Controls are carried out at border posts between the two countries and the number of air connections is very small.

Yesterday, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, affirmed at a press conference from the Moncloa Palace that he perfectly understood that response and that there is an "interlocution with France at all times" , including messages with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron. However, the statements from the French Department of the Interior make it clear that coordination is, at best, improvable.

Italy decided to advance to June 3 its reopening of borders with the countries of the European Union without quarantine in order to save tourism and before the decrease in daily deaths from coronavirus. The European Commission recommends reopening the internal borders of the European Union in a coordinated manner.

In Germany, restrictions on land border traffic on its borders with Austria, Switzerland and France were eased on Friday, authorizing family visits by non-German citizens for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

In accordance with the criteria of The Trust Project

Know more

  • Spain
  • European Union
  • France
  • Italy
  • Paris
  • Pedro Sánchez
  • Madrid
  • Europe
  • Emmanuel Macron
  • European Comission
  • Austria
  • Germany

HistoryEverything the EU can learn from its past to overcome the Covid-19 crisis

Macroeconomics Spain proposes a European reconstruction fund of at least one trillion and without Eurobonds

Reconstruction Insufficient consensus in Brussels for the Spanish route of perpetual debt