Entry-Exit system: Border management is vital for a good functioning of the Schengen area

Schengen and border controls sign posts

The European Parliament today approved a new Entry-Exit system for all non-EU nationals arriving in the passport-free Schengen area.

S&D Group vice-president and negotiator for the new system, Tanja Fajon, said:

“We fully support efforts to enhance the EU’s external border management. This new system is part of a range of measures to help achieve more modernised border control. This can facilitate travel while at the same time also increase security, essential if we want the Schengen area to function effectively.

“We have fought hard to improve these proposals. But, ‘smart borders’ will be truly smart only if the new technologies are used effectively with the purpose to facilitate the travel of non EU citizens. This system must not become the exclusive tool for fighting the terrorism. Bona fide travellers who pose no threat to the EU should not be seen as potential terrorists. We need to keep the balance between the purpose of this system and fundamental rights. Security is our foremost priority but not at the expense of fundamental rights.”

S&D Group Spokesperson for civil liberties, justice and home affairs, Birgit Sippel, added:

“We support measures that can help us better manage our borders. However, we also need to ensure that peoples’ data is managed and stored in a transparent and legal way; otherwise, we are building up problems for the future. In light of the legal opinion of the Court of Justice on the proposed EU-Canada PNR Agreement, the data retention period for third-country national travellers remains a serious issue in this Entry-Exit System. We wanted to adapt the text to ensure this would not become a problem in the future, but it is just highly unfortunate that we could not convince all those involved in the negotiations of the need to look into this in more detail before rushing to adopt the text.”