EU : Schengen border control rules come into force

EU : Schengen border control rules come into force

The European Union says new rules have taken effect to strengthen the Schengen Information System (SIS) in order to close “a critical security gap” among the bloc’s member states.

The rules, adopted earlier this year, came into force on Friday to “help border guards to better monitor who is crossing the EU’s borders,” according to a statement by the European Commission.

The rules, proposed in December 2016, will strengthen Europe’s most widely used security and border management database.

“The upgraded database, according to the statement, will also “support police and law enforcement in capturing dangerous criminals and terrorists; and offer greater protection for missing children and vulnerable adults, in line with the new data protection rules.”

Europe’s Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos explains that the rules are helping close “a critical security gap today in the EU.”

“Member States will have an obligation to introduce terrorism alerts into the reinforced Schengen Information System,” he said. “Anyone posing a threat should not go unnoticed anymore.”

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The system will also be alerted for illegal residents in the Schengen area; and will speed up the process for the return of these refugees to the required country.

At the same time, it will provide police with information about individuals wanted for arrest in the EU, missing persons and people or vehicles requiring specific checks or discreet surveillance.

Back in 2016, European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, highlighted the necessity of overcoming the union’s shortcomings in data management and improving the interoperability of existing information systems.

A strengthened Schengen Information System was one of the foundations.

The content has been hit since 2014 by an unprecedented influx of refugees fleeing conflict-ridden zones in North Africa and the Middle East, mainly Syria.

Many blame major European powers for the unprecedented exodus, saying their interventionist policies have led to a surge in terrorism and war in those regions, forcing more people to flee their homes.

By Africafriquye and agencies

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