Millions of us have built our lives on the promises of the power of free movement. Under the cover of coronavirus, this dream disappears
At first, the German, other Italians curled about it, but again, the Frenchman could be the first. Perhaps we will never know the true nationality of the “zero patient” in Europe. And this does not matter much, because the true zero on our continent is Europe itself.
Since the first detection of the virus in Europe, Europe has fallen into a coma.
Prolonged blockages and self-isolation hid the severity of the patient’s condition. With free movement, even within the confiscated countries, few dared to cross borders. Now that countries are loosening restrictive measures, the true health status of Europe is becoming clear.
This is a grim outcome for millions of EU citizens who live or regularly travel to other EU member states. As only a few countries reopen their borders, an unprecedented number of national restrictions, including border controls and quarantine rules, still make it virtually impossible to move across the continent. After several weeks of home imprisonment, many of us remain trapped in our country of residence or country of origin, unable to cross borders again. Some of us cannot visit families, return to our loved ones, go to work, or even go home.
While EU member states have the legal right to temporarily introduce internal border controls for reasons of public protection and to revoke them again, their decisions – as promised by French President Emmanuel Macron – “must be taken as Europeans, at the European level, because that’s exactly what level we have built our freedoms and protection. ”
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Nevertheless, despite the timid attempt by the European Commission to coordinate the resumption of unlimited cross-border movement within the union, the Schengen area of general tourism remains in limbo, along with the lives of millions of EU citizens. If restrictions are relaxed, borders do not fall.