Brussels, 28 February 2013
'Smart borders': enhancing mobility and security
The EU is moving towards a more modern and efficient border management by using state-of-the-art technology. Today, the Commission proposed a 'smart border package' to speed-up, facilitate and reinforce border check procedures for foreigners travelling to the EU. The package consists of a Registered Traveller Programme (RTP) and an Entry/Exit System (EES) that will simplify life for frequent third country travellers at the Schengen external borders and enhance EU border security.
"The use of new technologies will enable smoother and speedier border crossing for third country citizens who want to come to the EU. Our aim is to facilitate the access of foreign travellers to the EU. This will not only be in the interest of the travellers but also the European economy. It has been estimated that in 2011 alone foreign travellers made a €271 billion contribution to our economy. Modernising our systems will also lead to a higher level of security by preventing irregular border crossings and detecting those who overstay'', said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.
Regulation on an EU Registered Traveller Programme (RTP)
Regulation on an EU Entry/Exit system
Today's proposals follow a 2011 Communication (IP/11/1234), in which a discussion was launched between EU institutions and authorities about the implementation of new systems, in light of their added value, their technological and data protection implications, and their costs.
Negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council on the RTP and the EES legislative proposals will now start. After adoption of the legal texts by the co-legislators, the establishment of the systems will take place with a view to start operations in 2017 or 2018.
Cecilia Malmström's website
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DG Home Affairs website
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Infographics on borders and visas
EU 'Smart Borders' – press conference
Proposals for regulations on a Registered Traveller Programme and an Entry/Exit System
Questions and answers: MEMO/13/141