Viewpoint – In the middle of the summer, the Belgian government banned its citizens from travelling to a number of European countries or regions. Including Mayenne.
By Roger Cayzelle
President of the Institut de la Grande Région
He also urged Belgian citizens to avoid travelling to Luxembourg, but also to the Meurthe et Moselle and the Vosges, suggesting that Belgian tourists should go and get tested and/or put themselves in a fortnight on their return.
This closure of the borders, which does not say its name, is indicative of the disarray that is currently gripping some European leaders. The decisions taken by a country located in the heart of Europe – and which itself is experiencing real difficulties in dealing with the pandemic, particularly in Flanders – are based on data that are sometimes imprecise and often questionable. Thus, Luxembourg’s classification as a risk zone is also due to the fact that this country has massively tested its population.
The Belgian federal government also seems to have taken this decision without consulting the other European countries but also its own authorities, in particular Wallonia and the province of Belgian Luxembourg.
Finally, this affects the Greater cross-border region, where eleven million inhabitants live and which should benefit from local tourism during this difficult summer period for this sector of activity. The Vosges have thus been impacted by this decision at a time when their health situation was improving.
Only a more regular consultation would make it possible to get out of this mess. Fortunately, it is beginning to be organised at the level of the Greater Region. It is time to go further.