European Commission: Security Checks for Non-EU Citizens

The people who are planning to travel to Europe and are holders of the non-EU passports will have to undergo new online security checks before they can proceed with their journey, if the European Commission’s plan is adopted.

The European Commission on Wednesday called for the introduction of prior security checks for visa-free travelers entering the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone in order to prevent potential terrorist threats.

If the proposal is approved, citizens of Balkan countries that do not need visas to travel to Western Europe will have to undergo online security checks.

The new system, called the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, ETIAS, would oblige travelers to fill in an online application providing basic data such as information on their identity, travel documents, residence and contact details.

Each application will be automatically processed, checking the applicants through different databases, including INTERPOL and EUROPOL.

Those who pass the security check will get travel authorization “within minutes after the application has been submitted”, according to the Commission. 

The ETIAS is being introduced to enable “more efficient management of the EU’s external borders and improve internal security, whilst at the same time facilitating legal travel across Schengen borders,” the Commission said.

The planned introduction of security checks follows a series of terrorist attacks within the EU including a series of coordinated massacres in Paris in November 2015, which killed 130 people.

(Balkan Insight, BIRN, 16.11.2016)

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/commission-plans-security-checks-for-non-eu-citizens-11-16-2016

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