Border regions are particularly affected by measures to limit the pandemic of COVID-19. AEBR follows news, initiatives and information which have an impact on border and cross-border regions:
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- MOT and DG REGIO published “The effects of COVID-19 induced border closures on cross-border regions” with a full report and an annex with 20 cases. The partners of the European Cross-Border Citizens’ Alliance, AEBR and CESCI, also collaborated in the identification of cases and in performing some interviews.
- On 15 January, Anne Sander, Member of the European Parliament organized a new session of the informal intergroup on CBC through a webinar to present the report elaborated by the MOT for DG Regio on the impact of border-related measures taken by the Member States in the fight against COVID-19. Jean Peyrony, Director General of the MOT, presented the study and Pascal Boijmans, Head of Unit for Interreg and CBC at DG Regio intervened on behalf of the European Commission. Michael Dejozé, Director of Euregio Meuse-Rhine, presented their experience on the ground.
- The European Cross-Border Citizens’ Alliance is addressing some member states and has asked its members to do so, in case cross-border restrictions are creating additional troubles.
- The EU leaders agreed at the end of January to keep open borders, but with strong non-essential travel restrictions. However, some countries like Portugal have decided to close some border crossing and establish strong restrictions in all; others like Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Finland, Denmark and Sweden have been urged by the Commission to go back to a coordinated approach to the freedoms of movement; while others are relaxing lockdowns.
- Vaccine certificates seem to take shape, but we will still have to wait some time to know if this is finally going to be an all-EU coordinated action.
- The Commission’s President announced on 10 March an agreement with BioNTech-Pfizer to offer “to Member States to make available a total of four million doses of vaccines before the end of March which will be supplied in addition to the planned dose deliveries. This will help Member States in their efforts to keep the spread of new variants under control. Through their targeted use where they are most needed, in particular in border regions, these doses will also help ensure or restore free movement of goods and people. These are key for the functioning of health systems and the Single Market.” See the press release.