EU’s roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 measures

Online since 17-04-2020
The European Commission and Council recently presented their roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures.
The joint European Roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures, presented by the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council, responds to the European Council Members’ call for an exit strategy that is coordinated with Member States and that will prepare the ground for a comprehensive recovery plan and unprecedented investment. For CLIMMAR’s ‘sectors’, it is noteworthy to mention that border controls are lifted and economic activities can get re-started, with a specific focus on supply chains. 

As part of the roadmap, a phased approach for the opening of internal and external borders is needed, eventually restoring the normal functioning of the Schengen area. Internal border controls should be lifted in a coordinated manner: the Commission has been working continuously with Member States to limit the impact of the reintroduction of internal border controls on the functioning of the internal market and on free movement. External border reopening and access of non-EU residents to the EU should happen in a second stage, and should take account of the spread of the virus outside the EU, and of the dangers of reintroduction. 

The re-start of the economic activity should be phased in, thus ensuring that authorities and businesses can adequately adjust to increasing activities in a safe way. 

The Commission will create a rapid alert function to identify supply and value chain disruptions, relying inter alia on existing networks such as Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), Clusters, Chambers of Commerce and trade associations, SME Envoys as well as other actors such as the European-level social partners. Best available solutions will be sought to tackle these disruptions, which can have their origin in an asymmetrical lifting of containment measures (inside or outside the EU), the bankruptcy of businesses or third country actor interference. 

The European Commission and Council concludes by mentioning that successfully coordinating the lifting of containment measures at EU level, will also positively impact the EU’s recovery. There is a need to strategically plan the recovery that is mindful of citizens’ needs, in which the economy needs to pick up pace and get back on a path of sustainable growth, integrating the twin green and digital transition and drawing all lessons from the current crisis for the EU’s preparedness and resilience.