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New registration system to reinforce security for European citizens

16 November 2016

New registration system to reinforce security for European citizens

Today, the European Commission has proposed a new mandatory registration system for non-EU citizens wishing to travel to Europe. The ETIAS, EU Travel Information and Authorisation System, will largely be based on the American system (ESTA) and applies to travelers who are not subject to a visa requirement.

Today, the European Commission has proposed a new mandatory registration system for non-EU citizens wishing to travel to Europe. The ETIAS, EU Travel Information and Authorisation System, will largely be based on the American system (ESTA) and applies to travelers who are not subject to a visa requirement. “In that way, suspects can be intercepted more quickly. This is an important step in the fight against terrorism and international crime, and should strengthen our security. Not everyone is welcome in Europe”, says ECR MEP Helga Stevens.

Annually, more than 30 million people from 60 different countries travel visa-free to Belgium and other Schengen countries. With this proposal, Europe would be able to carry out additional security checks on persons travelling from countries which are visa exempt. The traveler in question will have to fill in an electronic questionnaire, including their name, passport number and other personal information. Stevens: “Based on this, the relevant security services can cross-check information against the existing EU databases to see whether this person is registered as suspicious. Therefore, it is essential that this system is linked to a thorough exchange of information between the national intelligence services.” Each application would cost five euros. Stevens: “The EU should use this money to invest additionally in a strong security policy, including the strengthening of the external EU borders. A strong security policy in Europe can only succeed if the borders are effectively protected. If we want to keep the internal EU borders open, we need to have stronger protection on the external EU borders.”

The implementation of the system is planned for 2020. Stevens: “While we obviously first have to investigate further details, we should adopt this kind of a registration system as soon as possible. Europe is facing enormous security challenges.”

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