A new electronic Entry/Exit System registering all non-EU citizens arriving in the Schengen area was approved today by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. The Committee confirmed a political agreement the European Parliament reached with EU Member States at the end of June.
Agustín Díaz de Mera MEP, Rapporteur of the two adopted EU legislative proposals, said: “The new Entry/Exit System is a very important step forward towards strengthening security in Europe. It will allow law enforcement authorities to search in travel history records while investigating crimes related to terrorism and other serious breaches of law. Criminals with false identities, such as the terrorist from the Berlin Christmas market, will now be easily identified. The EPP Group made sure that data for people who stay in the EU illegally will be stored for a longer time than for others.”
The new system will register the name, type of travel document, fingerprints, a facial image and the date and place of entry and exit of all non-EU visitors coming to countries in the Schengen area (including Bulgaria and Romania) for a period of 90 days maximum. Data on people who are refused entry will be stored in order to avoid their arrival via a different border with a different or false travel document.
“There won’t be any manual stamps on passports needed for tourists visiting the EU. The new system will be fully electronic which will facilitate border controls for both visitors and border guards”, added Díaz de Mera.
The proposals on the functioning of the Entry/Exit system and on the interaction of the new system with the Schengen Borders Code are part of the revision of the Smart Border package addressing the role of information systems in enhancing external border management, internal security and the fight against terrorism and organised crime. Today’s vote in the committee will be confirmed by the plenary of the European Parliament after the summer break.