The European Parliament today approved updated rules governing the EU’s Visa Information System. This is the EU database that connects border guards at the EU’s external borders with member states' consulates across the world. It provides authorities with key information on applicants for short-stay Schengen visas.
S&D Group spokesperson for the EU Visa Information System Péter Niedermüller said:
“These updated rules will help improve the management of the EU’s external borders. It will make it easier for the competent authorities to carry out background checks on visa applicants and will close security information gaps through better information exchange between EU member states. It will work alongside other measures to ensure a more effective and streamlined approach to border management in Europe.
“As always when looking at systems that will include collecting large amounts of personal data, we fought to ensure fundamental rights are protected and that only data that is necessary and proportionate is collected. We are disappointed that the amendment prohibiting the fingerprinting of children under the age of 12 did not pass. There is no evidence that this is necessary or makes our borders more secure.
“Despite this, overall these improvements are welcome. They provide new tools to more effectively manage the EU’s external borders and help information sharing between EU member states.”