The “digitization” of entry into the EU, suspended by the coronavirus pandemic, should come into full force from the fall of this year. As a result, Russian tourists who reach the countries of the Schengen zone will have to cross the border according to new rules – a new automatic entry and exit system with full biometrics will begin to operate in the EU. We are talking about the long-planned launch of two systems: the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) and the Entry-Exit System (EES). Recall that at one time the European Commission called the main goal of these innovations “strengthening internal security”, countering illegal migration, preventing cross-border crime and terrorism.
The details explained by ATOR experts are as follows: the EES system will be used to register travelers from third countries every time they cross the external border of the EU. Each incoming tourist will automatically have personal data, type of travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and facial image), as well as the date and place of entry and exit. In addition, the system will also record refusals of entry, more effectively identify persons who have overstayed their stay, as well as cases of fraud with documents and identity cards.
The European Commission called the system unprecedented – the system will not only collect all biometric information, capture digitized fingerprints and face images of all arriving tourists, at all Schengen air and sea ports, airports and land border points at the entrance and exit – but also transfer them to the relevant state authorities. The ETIAS and EES databases will interact with each other, and it is stated that the biographical and biometric collections of the EU, including all visa records, will be available for use in real time by the border authorities of all Schengen countries.
What will be the benefit of this to a tourist who is “counted”? The European authorities assure that the EES system will make it easier for conscientious travelers from third countries to cross the borders of the Schengen area, as it will expand the possibilities of self-service when passing through border control. That is, the tourist will have the opportunity to independently scan the passport and fingerprints at biometric kiosks at the airport. Against the backdrop of a shortage of staff at many European airports, it sounds kind of tempting.
At the moment, tourists must go through an internal check and receive a “man-made” stamp when passing through passport control – the EU claims that this system is outdated and not only creates a queue, but also does not provide completely reliable data on crossing the EU borders, which allows those who violate the terms of stay and even illegal migrants to “slip through”.
For those who care about a healthy lifestyle, we recommend reading: “Scientists have found that frequent consumption of fish leads to skin cancer.”