We will monitor this situation to see how it effects the ability for registrants and their families to travel.
Brussels (dpa) – The European Commission wants additional security checks on visitors to Europe, it said Wednesday, proposing a US-style online system to vet visa-free travellers as part of efforts to clamp down on terrorism and illegal immigration.
Terrorism suspects in attacks on Paris and Brussels were among more than 1 million migrants and refugees who crossed Europe‘s borders last year, prompting EU leaders to renew their focus on external border security for the region‘s passport-free Schengen area.
Under a new 212-million-euro (227-million-dollar) system that could take effect as of 2020, travellers from the European Union‘s list of visa-free countries will have to get permission through an automated online system and pay a 5-euro fee before entering any of the 26 Schengen countries.
Operating costs for the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) – estimated at an annual average of 85 million euros – will be covered by revenues from the 5-euro fee, the commission said.
“ETIAS is the missing piece in the puzzle for managing the [EU‘s] external borders,” EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told German newspaper Die Welt in comments published Wednesday.
Under the system, visitors will have to provide personal data, identification and answers to background questions that will be vetted against EU security databases.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to propose the ETIAS system in his 2016 State of the Union address in September.
“This way we will know who is travelling to Europe before they even get here,” Juncker said.
The ETIAS proposal requires approval by the European Parliament and member states to take effect.