The legislative proposals for ETIAS and eu-LISA, put forward by the Commission in November 2016 and June 2017 respectively, were identified as political priorities under the Joint Declaration on the EU's legislative priorities for 2018-2019. Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King welcomed today's adoption.
Commissioner Avramopoulos said: "At the beginning of this Commission we committed to deliver a Europe that protects – and today, we take one more, important step towards this goal. A stronger eu-LISA will be the nerve centre of our information systems for borders, migration and security, and the new ETIAS will ensure that we no longer have an information gap on visa-free travellers. Anyone who poses a migratory or security risk will be identified before they even travel to EU borders, while the travel of bona fide travellers will be facilitated. I want to thank both rapporteurs for their leadership and commitment to building a safer Union for our citizens"
Commissioner King said: "Our police officers and border guards need to have the right tools to do their jobs – keeping our citizens safe and our borders secure. ETIAS will pre-screen visa-free visitors for potential security problems, while the reinforced eu-LISA will allow us to continue to modernise EU-wide information systems for law enforcement and border management."
The ETIAS authorisation is not a visa. Once operational, it will carry out pre-travel screening for security and migration risks of travellers benefiting from visa-free access to the Schengen area. When arriving at the EU borders travellers will need to have both a valid travel document and an ETIAS authorisation.
- Affordable, simple and fast: All visa-free travellers will need to request ETIAS authorisation prior to their visit to the Schengen area. Completing the online application should not take more than 10 minutes with automatic approval being given in over 95% of cases. Travellers will have to pay a one-off €7 fee (for travellers between 18 and 70 years old) and the authorisation issued will be valid for three years.
- Cross-checking of EU information systems: ETIAS will cross-check data provided by visa-exempt travellers against the EU information systems for borders, security and migration, including the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Visa Information System (VIS), Eurodac, Europol and Interpol databases. If the cross-checked data matches with the EU databases, the application will be then manually verified by the ETIAS Central Unit managed by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.
- Clear rules for refusals: In cases where authorisation is refused, the relevant national authority will have to inform the applicant about the decision or seek additional information within 96 hours. If additional information is provided, the national authority must then take a decision within four weeks of the initial application date. In case of refusal, applicants always have the right to appeal.
The upgrade of eu-LISA, the EU Agency for the operational management of large scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice, will give the Agency the capacity and tools it needs to provide centralised operational management of EU information systems for migration, security and border management.
- Developing new systems: The strengthened eu-LISA will have a vital role to play in developing and maintaining new EU information systems for migration, security and border management, notably: the Entry Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).
- Upgrading existing systems: The Agency will also be in a better position to maintain and upgrade existing systems, such as the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Visa Information System (VIS) and Eurodac, for which it is already responsible.
- Ensuring interoperability: The reinforced Agency will be in charge of rolling out technical solutions to make sure these EU information systems interact efficiently and are readily accessible to police and border guards on the ground.
Both approved texts will now have to be finally adopted by the Council. The President of the European Parliament and the rotating Presidency of the Council will then sign the texts into law.
Following their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (EUR-Lex), the regulations will enter into force 20 days later, which will enable eu-LISA to start building the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and make these new information systems operational by the end of 2021.
In his 2016 State of the Union address, President Juncker highlighted the importance of overcoming the current shortcomings in data management and of improving the interoperability of existing information systems. He also announced that the Commission would propose the creation of a European Travel Information and Authorisation System – an automated system that would conduct prior security and irregular migration checks, in full respect of fundamental rights and personal data protection, and issue authorisations to visa-exempt travellers for the purpose of travelling to the Schengen Area.
To this end, the Commission put forward the legislative proposals to establish the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) in November 2016 and to strengthen the mandate of eu-LISA, the EU Agency for the operational management of large scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice in June 2017. Both files were identified as political priorities under the Joint Declaration for 2018-2019.
Today's vote in the Plenary adopts the texts of the political agreements found in trilogues between the European Parliament and the Council. The political agreement on ETIAS was reached on 25 April and on eu-LISA on 24 May, the Commission statements for both files are available online.
For More Information
Questions & Answers: Security Union: A European Travel Information and Authorisation System
Factsheet: European Travel Information and Authorisation System
Statement: Security Union: Commission welcomes political agreement on the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) for a stronger and more secure Union
Statement: Security Union: A stronger EU Agency for the management of information systems for security and borders
Press release: Security Union: Commission proposes a European Travel Information and Authorisation System
Press release: Security Union: Commission delivers on interoperability of EU information systems
Factsheet: Security Union: Closing the information gap