PRESS RELEASE 030
Arancha González Laya advocates enhancing European coordination to facilitate return of tourists
23/03/2020
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya advocated, in her speech at Monday’s informal meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union that revolved around the European response to the COVID-19 crisis, improving consular coordination to facilitate the return of those tourists who wish to return to their countries of residence at this time.

Arancha González Laya, who attended the meeting held by video-conference with the High Representative, Josep Borrell and the rest of her European counterparts, insisted that “we must step up consular coordination to facilitate the return of our tourists to their homes”. To do this, the priority now lies in commercial flights that can provide a solution to the problems tourists are facing who wish to leave the countries they are in.

Despite the growing difficulties due to the closure of air space and quarantine restrictions, Spain underlined the priority of putting the return of tourists and of those in vulnerable situations first. She also expressed her concern over the spread of the virus in structurally fragile regions, to which end she backed the study of measures to help needy countries.
Furthermore, in the fight against fake news, the Spanish minister pointed out that we should work better and learn the lessons of what is taking place. In her opinion, this is a critical aspect that must contribute to preparing a narrative in defence of the EU.

The High Representative offered the EU delegations in all countries around the world to help coordinate the forms of travel available with the embassies of the different Member States and their distribution among those European tourists with difficulties returning to their home countries. At this meeting, the foreign affairs ministers shared their analysis of the geostrategic consequences of the coronavirus crisis.



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