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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Protection of EU external borders

28-06-2019

The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in EU policies on external borders. It affected the functioning of the Schengen rules, leading to the re-introduction of border checks by several Member States. In response to these challenges, as well as the surge in terrorist and serious cross-border crime activities, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at strengthening its external borders ...

The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in EU policies on external borders. It affected the functioning of the Schengen rules, leading to the re-introduction of border checks by several Member States. In response to these challenges, as well as the surge in terrorist and serious cross-border crime activities, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at strengthening its external borders by reinforcing the links between border controls and security. On the one hand, measures for protecting the EU's external borders have focused on reinforcing EU border management rules, such as the Schengen Borders Code, and strengthening and upgrading the mandates of relevant EU agencies, such as Frontex, eu-LISA, Europol and EASO. On the other hand, in connection with a number of key shortcomings in the EU's information systems, efforts were made to improve use of the opportunities offered by information systems and technologies for security, criminal records, and border and migration management. This included strengthening existing IT systems (SIS II, VIS, Eurodac, ECRIS-TCN), establishing new ones (ETIAS, Entry/Exit System) and improving their interoperability. The broader mandate and the increase of activities in the area of EU border management is also reflected in the growing amounts, flexibility, and diversity of EU funds, inside and outside the current and future EU budget. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Interoperability between EU border and security information systems

14-06-2019

To enhance EU external border management and internal security, the European Commission has made several proposals to upgrade and expand European border and security information systems. As part of a broader process to maximise their use, the Commission presented legislative proposals for two regulations in December 2017 (amended in June 2018), establishing an interoperability framework between EU information systems on borders and visas, and on police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration ...

To enhance EU external border management and internal security, the European Commission has made several proposals to upgrade and expand European border and security information systems. As part of a broader process to maximise their use, the Commission presented legislative proposals for two regulations in December 2017 (amended in June 2018), establishing an interoperability framework between EU information systems on borders and visas, and on police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration. After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in the Parliament and in the Council, the final acts were signed by the co-legislators on 20 May 2019 and published in the Official Journal two days later. Both acts came into force on 11 June 2019. The new rules aim to improve checks at the EU’s external borders, allow for better detection of security threats and identity fraud, and help in preventing and combating irregular migration. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Reception of asylum-seekers - recast Directive

29-03-2019

States must treat asylum-seekers and refugees according to the appropriate standards laid down in human rights and refugee law. The current migration crisis revealed wide divergences in the level of reception conditions provided by Member States. While some are facing problems in ensuring adequate and dignified treatment of applicants, in others the standards of reception provided are more generous. This has led to secondary movements of asylum-seekers and refugees, and has put pressure on certain ...

States must treat asylum-seekers and refugees according to the appropriate standards laid down in human rights and refugee law. The current migration crisis revealed wide divergences in the level of reception conditions provided by Member States. While some are facing problems in ensuring adequate and dignified treatment of applicants, in others the standards of reception provided are more generous. This has led to secondary movements of asylum-seekers and refugees, and has put pressure on certain Member States. The aim of the proposed recast directive, which would replace the current Reception Conditions Directive, is to ensure greater harmonisation of reception standards and more equal treatment of asylum-seekers across all Member States, as well as to avoid ‘asylum shopping’ whereby asylum-seekers choose the Member State with the highest protection standards for their application. Although the co-legislators reached provisional agreement on the proposal in trilogue, Coreper was not able to confirm the Council’s support for that text and trilogue negotiations have yet to restart. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Revising the Visa Information System

15-11-2018

The Commission aims to upgrade the visa information system to allow for more thorough background checks on visa applicants, close security information gaps and ensure full interoperability with other EU-wide databases. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal observes that the impact assessment is underpinned by several stakeholder consultations and external studies. The Commission seems to be transparent about data limitations. However, the problem descriptions ...

The Commission aims to upgrade the visa information system to allow for more thorough background checks on visa applicants, close security information gaps and ensure full interoperability with other EU-wide databases. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal observes that the impact assessment is underpinned by several stakeholder consultations and external studies. The Commission seems to be transparent about data limitations. However, the problem descriptions are not always clear or convincing. In addition, considering the partly highly sensitive issues at hand, such as the fingerprinting of minors, the safeguards for fundamental rights protection in cases of errors or abuse could have been better explained.

European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)

18-10-2018

Strengthening the EU’s external borders is key to ensuring internal security and to preserving freedom of movement in the Schengen area. While the existing border management information systems do address some of the information gaps concerning non-EU citizens coming into the EU, there is a lack of information related to visa-exempt third-country nationals arriving at the Schengen external borders. The European Commission is therefore proposing to set up an automated system that would gather information ...

Strengthening the EU’s external borders is key to ensuring internal security and to preserving freedom of movement in the Schengen area. While the existing border management information systems do address some of the information gaps concerning non-EU citizens coming into the EU, there is a lack of information related to visa-exempt third-country nationals arriving at the Schengen external borders. The European Commission is therefore proposing to set up an automated system that would gather information on visa-exempt travellers prior to their arrival, in order to determine any irregular migration, security or public-health risks associated with them. The proposal follows similar models already existing in the USA, Canada and Australia, among others. ETIAS formally entered into force in October 2018, but will not become operational before 2021. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Revision of the Schengen Information System for border checks

18-10-2018

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law-enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states by enabling competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In view of responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges, in December 2016, the European Commission put forward a package of three legislative proposals aimed ...

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law-enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states by enabling competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In view of responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges, in December 2016, the European Commission put forward a package of three legislative proposals aimed at revising the legal framework of the SIS. The proposal on the establishment, operation and use of the SIS in the field of border checks provides for more effective use of fingerprints and facial images in the SIS, and imposes an obligation on the Member States to record all entry bans issued to thirdcountry nationals who have been found staying illegally in their territory. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Costica Dumbrava. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Use of the Schengen Information System for the return of illegally staying third-country nationals

18-10-2018

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states. It does so by enabling competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In view of responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges, in December 2016, the European Commission put forward a package of three legislative ...

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states. It does so by enabling competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In view of responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges, in December 2016, the European Commission put forward a package of three legislative proposals aimed at revising the legal framework of the SIS. The proposal on the use of the SIS for returning illegally staying third-country nationals aims to enhance the enforcement of the EU return policy and to reduce the incentives to irregular migration to the EU. Among other things, the proposal introduces the obligation for Member States to enter all return decisions into the SIS. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Costica Dumbrava. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Revision of the Schengen Information System for law enforcement

18-10-2018

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states. It enables competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on certain categories of wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In December 2016, the European Commission adopted a package of proposals aimed at responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges. One ...

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states. It enables competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on certain categories of wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In December 2016, the European Commission adopted a package of proposals aimed at responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges. One of these proposals is focused on improving and extending the use of the SIS in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. It clarifies procedures, creates new alerts and checks, extends the use of biometrics, and enlarges access for law enforcement authorities. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Costica Dumbrava. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

EU asylum, borders and external cooperation on migration: Recent developments

21-09-2018

This publication takes stock of recent EU developments in the area of asylum, borders and external cooperation on migration. It discusses key initiatives put forward by the EU in order to respond to migratory challenges, focusing on three major aspects: reforming the common European asylum system, strengthening the EU's external borders and reinforcing the EU's external cooperation on migration.

This publication takes stock of recent EU developments in the area of asylum, borders and external cooperation on migration. It discusses key initiatives put forward by the EU in order to respond to migratory challenges, focusing on three major aspects: reforming the common European asylum system, strengthening the EU's external borders and reinforcing the EU's external cooperation on migration.

A Europe without internal borders? Free movement of persons

25-06-2018

Different groups of EU citizens enjoy the right to freedom of movement across the EU, making it possible to work in another Member State, retire, study, set up a business, follow a family member or look for a job. EU citizens, tourists and businesses benefit from these rights as well as the Schengen area, which greatly facilitates freedom of movement. Contrary to popular belief, thus opening internal EU borders has not led to an increase in crime. Rather, Schengen innovations such as enhanced police ...

Different groups of EU citizens enjoy the right to freedom of movement across the EU, making it possible to work in another Member State, retire, study, set up a business, follow a family member or look for a job. EU citizens, tourists and businesses benefit from these rights as well as the Schengen area, which greatly facilitates freedom of movement. Contrary to popular belief, thus opening internal EU borders has not led to an increase in crime. Rather, Schengen innovations such as enhanced police cooperation and harmonised external border controls help Europe work against cross-border crime. Closing EU internal borders again could lead to costs of between €100 and 230 billion over 10 years.

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