Diplomats, who were not allowed to discuss the issue before the EU’s 27 member states reached an agreement, confirmed that CNN was given by noon on Tuesday to reach an agreement on the list of 15 countries allowed to enter EU governments.
The list of 15 recommended countries is China, where the virus is released. However, the EU will enter China only on condition of mutual regulations. 14 other countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay.
As expected broadly, the US, where the coronavirus is currently reviving, will not be on this list.
The list includes a number of recommendations from the Council of the EU that determine the criteria and methodology to meet these criteria before their citizens are allowed to enter the bloc. This requires that countries where entry is permitted have coronavirus infection rates equal to or better than the EU.
Border control is ultimately decided by every member state, not at the EU level in Brussels. However, EU officials hope that the implementation of the recommendations will mean that member states will reopen their borders in a key step.
Europe closed its external border in March, after seeing the block’s Covid-19 infection rates increased exponentially.
According to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, the U.S. currently has the largest number of confirmed infections and deaths in any country in the world caused by Covid-19.
Diplomats said it was “unlikely” to change the framework at any time soon. This means that a dramatic return on the infection rate of the United States will be required if it is considered in any future decision. The EU is expected to review the decision every two weeks.
Member states are expected to approve the list and guidelines on Tuesday with a qualified majority rather than a unanimous decision.
Qualified majority requires 15 out of 27 member states to vote in favor. As the diplomats state that at least three member states are reluctant to open borders, the guides are expected to be opaque and open to interpretation in some areas.
EU officials quickly stated that decisions about who can enter the bloc are not political, but based on science that allows member states to keep their citizens safe. These officials are still preparing for the reaction of US President Donald Trump, who previously said very critical things about the EU and could see the decision politically motivated.