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Deal struck on mandatory checks for EU citizens and third country nationals

5 December 2016

Deal struck on mandatory checks for EU citizens and third country nationals

Soon all EU citizens and non-EU nationals will be systematically checked when entering or leaving the EU. New legislation agreed by MEPs and EU ministers on Monday aims to strengthen the EU’s internal security.

Soon all EU citizens and non-EU nationals will be systematically checked when entering or leaving the EU. New legislation agreed by MEPs and EU ministers on Monday aims to strengthen the EU’s internal security.

During the talks with the European Commission and the European Council the European Parliament’s negotiators were initially sceptical towards what they saw as too strict regulation at airports. They expressed their worry of possibly lengthy border delays and slow traffic flows which would have likely occurred if the proposed legislation had gone through as proposed. Because of Parliament’s efforts, airports now have a longer adjustment period to implement the new regulations.

The agreed adjustment periods will not come at the cost of decreased security, and
Member states are required to present a risk assessment showing that looser checks will not lead to risks related to internal security, public policy, international relations of the member states or a threat to public health.

Also, a compromise was struck on using EU-wide databases as much as possible when doing border checks, in particular the Schengen Information System, the Interpol database on stolen or lost travel documents and other European databases. Nevertheless, the agreement still leaves it open for member states to consult national information systems and Interpol’s databases of their choice.

“Terrorism is hate without limits, and destroying human life is at the core of hate. Every person has a right to life and every democracy has the right to its values. We want a safe Europe in a better world. We want security in a changing world. The clock is ticking. Crisis situations such as the terrorist threat require a rapid and coordinated crisis response. Securing the external borders of the EU can stop the movement of terrorist, weapons and substances of mass destruction. We must do our outmost,” said Parliament’s rapporteur (lead MEP) Monica Macovei (ECR, RO).

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