ETIAS: We need to know who passes through our external borders

2018. 07. 16.

On July 5, a significant majority of the European Parliament voted in plenary for the creation of the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). According to MEP Kinga Gál, the Fidesz’ rapporteur, the new system will profoundly increase the security of European citizens as it would identify potential terrorists and criminals even before they enter the Schengen Area.

Some 30 million people arrive every year in the European Union from 59 visa-free countries without the authorities possessing any prior information about them. “Tourists and business travelers are welcome in Europe, and we would like to keep Europe open for them. However, those who arrive with the aim of committing an act of terrorism or any other crime will be identified by the ETIAS long before their entry,” said Gál during the plenary session.

“Our goal was to establish a system that contributes to a more secure Europe by preventing the risks of terrorism, illegal migration and epidemics without imposing a heavy administrative burden on citizens of countries with visa-free travel to the EU,” stressed the Fidesz MEP, adding that “application for the travel permit happens electronically, it only takes a couple of minutes, and in 99 percent of the cases it gets approved immediately.”

“The ETIAS is one of the most important EU regulations lately in the field of security that could achieve agreement among legislators. The only way to counter the ever-changing methods of criminals and terrorists is with “intelligent border control” and a transparent EU information database. We need to know more about the people who arrive and their intentions as well as the crimes they have committed both outside EU borders and within the bloc,” MEP Kinga Gál said.