Tuesday

18th Feb 2020

EU starts border checks on everyone

  • EU nationals will have their IDs checked with databases (Photo: angeloangelo)

National authorities will start imposing identity checks as of Friday (7 April) on everyone entering and leaving the European Union.

The move is part of a broader security crackdown, which follows a series of terror attacks in Paris and Brussels involving EU nationals that had fought alongside militant extremists in Syria and elsewhere.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

"We still have a stock of 2,500 Europeans who are on the ground [Syria and Iraq] and we don't know how many, at what rhythm, and on which routes they will return here," the EU's counter terror coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, told Belgian radio last month.

Anyone who flies in, or crosses a land or sea border will have their identities cross-checked with the Schengen Information System (SIS), and Interpol's database of lost travel documents (SLTD).

The checks, which were already being imposed on non-EU nationals, will now also extend to EU citizens.

Authorities will be able to relax some of the border control checks in case of heavy traffic flows. A transitional period has also been imposed for airports.

SIS is the most widely-used information system for law enforcement in Europe and is undergoing reforms.

A new alert category for "unknown wanted persons" will be included. Alerts will also be issued on terrorist offences and on anyone that has an entry ban.

Plans are also underway to include an automated fingerprint identification service that would allow border guards to one day search SIS using fingerprints.

Julian King, the EU commissioner for security, told MEPs in March that the fingerprint system is needed to catch people who use fake IDs.

SIS has been touted as the biggest and most successful EU-wide security database, with hits increasing from around 150,000 in 2015 to more than 200,000 last year.

Authorities had queried the database almost 4 billion times in 2016, a 40 percent increase from 2015.

EU scrambles meeting over border chaos

The European Commission has called for a meeting this week with EU state experts, following border chaos after the launch of new rules that require systematic checks of EU citizens at the Schengen zone's external borders.

IT security system threatens EU rights

EU commission wants to link up all information systems on security, border, and migration, drawing a rebuke from own rights agency.

Exclusive

Balkan spies 'feed' EU's police database via Czechs

Western Balkan secret services have handed over more the 250 alerts on suspected foreign terrorist fighters since last summer - fed into the EU's police database by the Czech Republic, according to a confidential document seen by EUobserver.

New EU public prosecutor has four staff for 3,000 cases

Laura Kovesi who heads the new European Public Prosecutor's Office, tasked to tackle fraud linked to VAT, money laundering, and corruption across the EU, warned she is dangerously understaffed and underfunded.

Polish 'LGBTI-free zones' not ok, says EU commission

The European Commissioner for equality Helena Dalli has said the distribution of 'LGBTI-free zones' stickers or the adoption of anti-LGBTI resolutions cannot be allowed. Some 86 towns in Poland have so far declared themselves 'LGBTI-free zones'.

Polish 'LGBTI-free zones' not ok, says EU commission

The European Commissioner for equality Helena Dalli has said the distribution of 'LGBTI-free zones' stickers or the adoption of anti-LGBTI resolutions cannot be allowed. Some 86 towns in Poland have so far declared themselves 'LGBTI-free zones'.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  2. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December

Latest News

  1. Ending shell companies does not threaten privacy
  2. Net payer countries push back on EU budget plans
  3. Is Belgium heading for new elections?
  4. Budget, Zuckerberg, Pelosi and Cayman Islands This WEEK
  5. EU plan on AI: new rules, better taxes
  6. What the EU can do for South Sudan - right now
  7. The last best chance for Donbas and peace in Europe?
  8. EU commissioner lobbied by energy firm he owns shares in

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us