Stronger and smarter information systems for borders and security in the European Union

As per new proposals from the European Commission, existing immigration and criminal information data management systems should be intensified and new legislative programs are to be implemented for security reasons.

The proposal focuses on enhancing boarder management and internal security by upgrading different systems, as well as building new, smarter data security programs.
The following systems aim to develop legislative and non-legislative programs, as well as address current gaps:

  • Entry-Exit System (EES): is the registration of biometric data of third-country nationals entering and exiting the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. This system will link the data to electronic entry and exit records, and will automatically detect overstays in the Schengen area. It is expected to be implemented by 2020. The current practice of stamping travel documents will be discontinued 
  • Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS): this system will be operational by mid-2017 and will be part of the current Schengen Information System (SIS). It will allow for the searching and verification of fingerprints, and will be a complementary tool for Europol’s system for criminal investigation and counter-terrorism 
  • Passenger Name Record (PNR): proposed PNR Directive to be adopted and implemented as a matter of urgency – this database consists of important data combatting serious crime and terrorism 
  • EU Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS): where visa-exempt travelers would register relevant information about their intended journey. The automatic processing of this information could help border guards in their assessment of third-country visitors arriving for a short stay. Countries such as the U.S., Canada and Australia have already put similar systems into place, including for EU citizens 
  • The Commission will also assess the necessity, technical feasibility and proportionality of a European Police Record Index System (EPRIS), which will enable cross-border access to information held on national law enforcement databases

Among improvement proposals of existing programs, the Commission also highlighted:

  • Shortcomings in the Schengen Information System (SIS) to allow the use of facial images for identification and to enhance the existing alert system, among other improvements 
  • The establishment of automatic updates to data about stolen or lost travel documents through the Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) databas 
  • The need to increase the added-value of Advance Passenger Information (API) stolen or lost travel documents through the SLTD database by establishing automated cross-checking against the SIS and SLTD databases 
  • The need to conduct an overall evaluation of the Visa Information System (VIS) by end of 2016 in terms of its functionality and law enforcement purposes
  • Reforms of the EURODAC system – a fingerprint database for an identification of asylum seekers and irregular border crossers

The proposal represents a step towards improved effectiveness of immigration processes and criminal data management across the entire EU.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the official European Union website.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact the Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA, Vladimir Dziak: