Answer given by Ms Johansson on behalf of the European Commission
1. The Commission is aware that the United States (US) is considering conditioning participation in its Visa Waiver Program upon enhanced information exchange with Member States. It is the Commission’s understanding that the US is interested in the access to personal information contained in Member States’ databases for border management and immigration purposes based on biometric matching.
2. The Commission has shared its concerns with Member States and US authorities in relation to the legality, proportionality and absence of reciprocity entailed by new US requirements.
3. In agreement with US authorities, a working group will be established at technical level to look at the scope of information expected as well as the modalities that could underpin such exchange of information consistent with EC law and the EU’s objective to achieve full visa-reciprocity for all Member States. In parallel, the Commission is working closely with Member States to ensure a common Union approach in response to the US.