MEPs approve pre-entry screening procedure 


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  • Checks, including identification, taking biometric data, health and security checks, may last up to seven days 
  • Access to emergency health care and essential treatment for illness 
  • Unaccompanied minors always have the right to apply for international protection 
  • Outcome of screening to be used to decide on follow-up procedures: asylum or return procedure 
  • Independent fundamental rights monitoring mechanism in every member state 

MEPs approved on Wednesday the new rules for checks at EU borders and within its territory for people who entered the EU in an irregular manner.

The new screening rules will apply to people that do not fulfil the conditions to enter an EU member state, who were apprehended entering the EU irregularly outside border crossing points or disembarking following a search and rescue operation, or have applied for international protection at a border crossing. Screening can be carried out at any adequate location designated by each EU country and situated in principle at or in proximity to the external borders as well as in other locations within the territory.

Third-country nationals found within the EU’s territory will be subject to screening only if they have crossed an external border to enter the territory of a member states in an unauthorised manner. Third-country nationals who have undergone the screening once will not have to repeat it.

Type of checks and duration

Checks can last seven days at most and include identifying or verifying someone’s identity, taking Eurodac biometric data, and a preliminary health and vulnerability assessment. Security checks will also be carried out, by accessing relevant databases (in particular the Schengen Information System, the Entry/Exit System, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System ETIAS and the European Criminal Records Information System - Third Country Nationals ECRIS-TCN system).

Third-country nationals undergoing screening have to be available to authorities to perform the above checks and may be detained to ensure it. They will have access to emergency health care and essential treatment if they are ill.

The best interests of the child, in particular unaccompanied minors, should always be a primary consideration during screening. A representative should be appointed to support unaccompanied minors in the screening process. Even if the unaccompanied minor is not represented, they should always have the right to apply for international protection.

Fundamental rights monitoring mechanism

MEPs secured a strong, independent monitoring mechanism in each member state to protect fundamental rights of people undergoing screening.


The rapporteur Birgit Sippel (S&D, DE), said after the vote: “The New Pact on Migration and Asylum includes a comprehensive new Screening Regulation which will introduce checks for all third-country nationals irregularly entering the EU as regards identity, security, health and vulnerability. A vital part of the regulation is the fundamental rights monitoring mechanism, which will ensure that EU and international law are respected during the screening.”

Next steps

The new rules have to now formally be approved by the Council. The regulations will enter into force twenty days after publication in the EU Official Journal and will start applying two years after.

The new screening regulation is part of the wider revamp of the EU’s common asylum and migration rules, on which Parliament voted today. You can find more information here.