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European Commission - Statement

Security Union: Commission welcomes political agreement on the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) for a stronger and more secure Union

Brussels, 25 April 2018

Following the compromise agreement in December, the European Parliament (LIBE Committee) and the Council (COREPER) today reached a final political agreement on the Commission's proposal from November 2016 to establish a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). Welcoming the agreement, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King said:

"Today's agreement on the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is an important step towards building a safer and more secure Europe for our citizens. The Commission welcomes the efforts of the European Parliament and the Council to finalise this priority file, as agreed in the Joint Declaration of Legislative Priorities for 2018-2019. Importantly, it symbolises the closure of another security information gap at EU level. We now call on both the European Parliament and the Council to formally adopt this agreement.

We need to know who is crossing our borders. This new system, once operational, will carry out pre-travel screening for security and migration risks of travellers benefiting from visa-free access to the Schengen area. By cross-checking visa-exempt travellers against our information systems for borders, security and migration, the ETIAS will help us identify anyone who may pose a security or migration risk before he or she even reaches the EU border. The process for travellers to obtain an authorisation will be affordable, simple and fast and will always be carried out in full respect of fundamental rights and EU data protection rules. The ETIAS will also help us to strengthen and safeguard mobility for visa-free travellers who do not pose risks, while identifying those who do.

Over the past three years, we have been collectively delivering the building blocks for a genuine and effective Security Union, and the ETIAS is a key part of this work. At the same time, Europe's openness and mobility cannot and should not come at the price of security. Our work is not yet complete. We all need to continue our efforts to build a safer Europe – a Europe that protects."

 

Next Steps

The agreed text will now have to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. The EU Agency responsible for management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice, eu-LISA, will develop the system with the aim of having ETIAS fully operational by 2021. Once operational, ETIAS will be managed by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in close cooperation with the Member States and Europol.

 

Background

In his 2016 State of the Union address, President Juncker 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. Setting up this system was prioritised in the Bratislava Roadmap, which was agreed and signed by 27 EU leaders. On 16 November 2016 the Commission presented its legislative proposal.

The European Parliament, the rotating Council Presidency and the European Commission agreed to further prioritise this file in the Joint Declaration on the EU's legislative priorities for 2018-2019. The political agreement between the co-legislators was reached in December 2017 with the final confirmation and approval on all the technical aspects of the proposal given today.

 

For More Information

Press release – Security Union: Commission proposes a European Travel Information and Authorisation System

Questions & Answers – Security Union: A European Travel Information and Authorisation System

Factsheet - European Travel Information and Authorisation System

STATEMENT/18/3527

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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