The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which assesses possible security risks of visa-free travellers to the EU, was adopted today by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. ETIAS will, together with the future EU Entry-Exit System, create a smart information system enhancing the protection of EU citizens.

Kinga Gál MEP, Rapporteur on the new legislative proposal, explained: “Border and law enforcement authorities have almost no information on visa-free travellers who pose a potential risk to the security of our citizens. ETIAS bridges this information gap. It will enhance security in the EU by assessing basic travel data a traveller will register via an easy-to-access online application, in compliance with fundamental and data protection rights. With ETIAS, we will therefore know more about any person with connections to terrorist networks coming to the EU before they arrive.”

Travellers will be obliged to provide personal data such as name, date and place of birth and address, which will be verified against EU security databases and a watch list established by ETIAS. “Our aim was to create a system which will contribute to a more secure Europe but which won’t put an excessive administrative burden on people visiting the EU. We propose a fully automatic, online and interoperable system where only a symbolic fee will be required to launch the application. Europe must remain a safe place for people living, working and travelling in the EU”, added Kinga Gál.

ETIAS will not apply to EU citizens nor will it replace visas. After submitting a filled-in ETIAS questionnaire, an automated central system will, within minutes, proceed to a fully automated cross-checking of the information provided by the applicant against other information systems such as the Europol and Schengen Information System databases with which ETIAS would be interoperable. Following the screening, the applicant will receive a response by email with a valid travel authorisation or a justification for the refusal. The granted authorisation would be valid for 3 years.

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