Following today's adoption by the European Parliament of the Commission's proposal to establish an Entry/Exit System to register entry and exit data of non-EU nationals crossing the external borders of EU Member States, the European Commission issued the following statement:
"Over the past years we have been working to strengthen and protect our external borders to safeguard and increase the security of the Schengen area. Today's vote reflects the political commitment of the European Parliament to swiftly deliver on this priority file. It is an important step towards achieving more effective border management and better oversight of who is crossing the EU's external borders – and the Commission warmly welcomes this decision.
As President Juncker recalled in his Letter of Intent accompanying his State of the Union Address of 13 September, the Entry/Exit System is a priority initiative which will modernise the management of the EU external border and contribute to the fight against terrorism and serious crime. It will replace the stamping of passports and will allow for an increased automation of border controls, improved detection of document and identity fraud as well as better monitoring of unauthorised short stays of non-EU nationals.
The Entry/Exit System will also close an important information gap and will contribute to achieving full interoperability of EU information systems by 2020, in full respect of fundamental rights and data protection rules.
Following the introduction of systematic checks on all travellers crossing the external border and with the new European Border and Coast Guard Agency being fully operational, the Entry/Exit System represents further concrete action towards making our borders even stronger, smarter and more secure. The Commission is now looking forward to the Council continuing to deliver on this political priority, so that the system can be up and running by 2020 at the latest."
The proposal on the Entry/Exit System (EES) was announced both in the European Agenda on Migration and the European Agenda on Security. On 6 April 2016, the Commission adopted a legislative package which included a Regulation for the establishment of an Entry/Exit System and an essentially consequential amendment to the Schengen Borders Code to integrate the technical changes needed.
The Entry/Exit System is one of the priority files identified in the Joint Declaration on legislative priorities for 2017 and is closely linked with the European Travel Information Authorisation System (ETIAS). In his 13 September 2017 Letter of Intent, President Juncker called for a swift adoption by the co-legislators of the EU Entry/Exit System, alongside other important security files, including the Schengen Information System (SIS II), Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) and ETIAS.
The Entry/Exit System will modernise external border management by improving the quality and efficiency of controls as well as the detection of document and identity fraud. The system will apply to all non-EU nationals who are admitted for a short stay into the Schengen area (maximum 90 days in any 180-day period). The system will register the name, type of travel document and biometrics and the date and place of entry and exit. This will facilitate the border crossing of good faith travellers, detect overstayers (individuals remaining in the Schengen area after the end of their authorised stay) and support the identification of undocumented persons in the Schengen area. The Entry/Exit System will also record refusals of entry.
The final text will now have to be adopted by the Council. The Agency for the operational management of large-scale information systems in the area of freedom, security and justice, eu-LISA, is expected to start the development of the system this year with a view to having it operational by 2020.
For More Information
Press Release: Stronger and Smarter Borders in the EU: Commission proposes to establish an Entry-Exit System
Factsheet: EU Information Systems
Factsheet: A Europe that Protects