On behalf of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia), Chair of the Committee Anneli Ott sent an appeal to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, recommending the European Commission to assume leading role in organising the returning to homeland of the citizens of member states and the transport of vital goods, so that each member state would not have to seek for solutions by themselves, but the crisis would be resolved in cooperation.
Anneli Ott said that the current practice in resolving the crisis resulting from the spread of COVID-19 differed by member states, and this had brought along the situation where the citizens of the European Union had become trapped on the internal borders of the Union. “We recognise that the member states have the right to take appropriate measures to protect the health of their citizens, but we underline that this has to be done accordance with the Free Movement Directive,” Ott pointed out.
Therefore, Ott sent an appeal on behalf of the European Union Affairs Committee to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on Friday. The appeal calls on the European Commission to take the leading role in coordination of the resolution of the crisis. “First of all, the challenge of the free movement of the citizens of the European Union should be resolved. Transit corridors for the movement of the citizens of member states across closed borders to their homeland should be created,” Ott emphasised. Besides that, free movement of goods between member states should be ensured, and adequate supply of medicines and medical equipment for fighting the pandemic should be organised jointly.
Deputy Chair of the European Union Affairs Committee Riina Sikkut added that approving of the guidelines on border management submitted by the European Council on Tuesday had given a strong signal that the member states felt the need and the desire to cooperate.
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