Europe is opening up slowly but surely: following a fleeting visit to Luxembourg, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is undertaking his first flight abroad today. In the Netherlands, he will talk to his counterpart Stef Blok about the close cooperation based on solidarity in Europe as well as other issues.
Our common aim is to open borders, as well as to bring about economic recovery in the European Union. The pandemic has inflicted deep wounds throughout the EU, in terms of health and the economy.
Frank, personal exchange
On 27 May, the European Commission put forward a proposal on the EU Recovery Fund. It contains important elements of the Franco-German proposal on Europe’s recovery. Heiko Maas intends to have a frank discussion with Stef Blok, also about various positions concerning the modalities of such a fund. Heiko Maas believes: “We will only emerge from this crisis in good shape by acting together.” As for the recovery plan, it is also important to Germany that the fund is temporary and targeted, and that national parliaments are involved.
Focus on open borders and tourism
One key issue to be discussed in The Hague will be the opening of the borders and the resumption of European tourism. The Dutch and the Germans like to visit their neighbouring country as well as other European states and they do so in large numbers. The shared goal is therefore to ensure that the public’s health is protected on a cross‑border basis through common rules on infection control as well as comparable data. Travelling should be possible, but travellers should exercise caution and act responsibly.
Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Small Group
After the bilateral exchange, there will be another first: together with Stef Blok, Heiko Maas will participate in a virtual Foreign Ministers meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Small Group at the Dutch Foreign Ministry – multilateralism in practice.