The thing is: Politicians are supernervous when it comes to security these days after recent terrorist attacks in Europe. So there has been talk about creating a system that would "pre-check" everyone who is entering the EU from outside of the EU (except EU citizens obviously). So basically everyone who doesn't normally need a visa to cross the EU Schengen boarders (think Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc.) would need to register. Sounds familiar? That's because our friends from the U.S. have been doing this for a couple of years. Their little pre-screening system is called ESTA and the European one would be named: ETIAS (EU Travel Information and Authorisation System). Sneaky, hm?
Such a system mostly affects the everyday life of people who used to be able to travel visa-free to Europe. They will need to pre-register in order to cross into the lovely Schengen area. So slightly more administrative efforts involved to visit good old Europe. PLUS: The idea for EU citizen is of course to make Europe safer by managing the external borders more effectively through a central file with all information about people entering the EU. At least this is the plan.
With this proposal the Commission wants to improve Europe's internal security through an automated system that will determine the eligibility of visitors who want to enter the EU. This system will only apply to those who normally don't need a visa to enter the Schengen area. This centralized system will register travellers before they show up at the border and cross-check them against e.g. existing "terror-lists". The goal is to collect and share as much information as possible on people entering the EU. This is supposed to improve pan-European collaboration on external border control and the fight against terrorism.
A little bonus: Since this pre-check will probably cost around 5 Euros (a bargain compared to the 14 dollars you have to pay to get into the U.S.), this will still bring in some extra cash for the EU budget. The travel authorisation is then valid for five years (or three years according to the Council).
The proposed system will allow for the effective management of authorised short-stays, increased automation at border-controls, and improved detection of document and identity fraud, according to the Commission.
The system will apply to all non-EU citizens who are admitted for a short stay in the Schengen area (maximum 90 days in any 180-day period).- See more at: http://www.novinite.com/articles/173907/EU+Proposes+Entry-Exit+System+to+Boost+Border+Control+Efficiency#sthash.ULiSguc8.dpuf
The file has been handed over to the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, who is still working on their report. The Council has already agreed on a common position. It's quite likely that this bill will be dealt with quickly as the Member States are also interested in securing Europe's external borders more efficiently. We keep you posted!
An Entry-Exit System for External European Borders
Creating a European Border and Coast Guard
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