Commenting on the German National Democratic Rally, the President of the European Commission described the exclusion of EU citizens from US entry facilities as unjustified and, as Politico reported, noted that the epidemiological situation in the EU and the US is quite similar, and it is no coincidence:
The European Union had already put Americans entering Europe on the “green list” in mid-June.
“We need to solve this problem with our American friends, it can’t take weeks,” von der Leyen stated in the interview.
According to Politico, last week’s announcement in Washington that the Biden administration would maintain the ban on EU citizens caused “great disappointment” in EU circles, while many felt it was fundamentally unjustified. The Brussels publication quoted an EU institutional official stating that while the situation in Europe and the United States was similar, after a relatively slow start, the European vaccination rate in the EU today is slightly higher than that of Americans.
The unfavorable US decision was a slap to EU leaders, especially after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken expressed weeks ago his hopes for a US reciprocity decision “as soon as possible”.
A few days later, US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Muercas assured his European colleagues in Lisbon that the US decision did not take long. Following the EU-US ministerial meeting, a joint statement was released formally stating that the two parties are “mutually committed to renewing the security journey between the US and EU member states”.
Then the Washington government announced in late July that it
Due to the rapid spread of the delta variant, entry restrictions for Europeans are maintained.
Not by the way, Americans who did travel were also urged to refrain from visiting Spain, Portugal and Cyprus when they left for Europe.
According to Politico, since the EU-US relationship is in the “normalization and reconstruction” stage after the Trump term, the Commission has long sought to avoid responding to stories with negative statements, but behind the scenes there has been serious disappointment. The semi-official (somewhat internal) justification for the restraint was that for now, the point is that American tourists will re-emerge in Europe during the summer holidays, whose economic benefits in tourism should not be underestimated.
At the same time, EU officials admit that it is especially bitter for the European side that the Washington Declaration at the end of July was not presented by any previous background information to the EU, but, basically, they also learned about it from the newspaper. This was not expected, especially after the joint Lisbon Declaration, marked by the name of Mercás.
Without questioning the unfriendly nature of the American approach, Politico said there was also an internal view of the Commission that the process did not benefit from the wording of the President’s June declaration of American admission too early and without prior consultation.
Von der Leyen supposedly sought to put “moral pressure” on Washington, but by not doing so, his declaration was somewhat “undermining” for the EU side to respond to the belated US decision to lift restrictions.
However, when describing the background of the US position, press reports also remind us that in the face of the “great power arrogance”
The Biden administration itself is poised on a thin rope.
Most of the country is not yet vaccinated, while at home — and in a world where vaccination is only 13 percent globally — the delta variant is spreading at a stormy rate. (According to observers, travel to Spain and Portugal was not “recommended” for Americans in this regard either.)
With social peace and keeping the economy running at stake, the political leadership seems forced to re-introduce restrictions in more and more countries, so this Wednesday only New York State decided to make vaccination certification subject to hospitality and sports facilities (and even some supermarkets).