Thursday, October 26, 2017

European Parliament votes to strengthen EU border security

EU border security
New measures to strengthen security at the European Union (EU)'s external borders and speed-up entry and exit checks have been given the green light Wednesday by the European Parliament during its plenary session in Strasbourg.

Members of European Parliament (MEPs) backed a draft law that proposes a common electronic system with an aim to speed up checks on the external borders of the Schengen area free-travel zone, and to register all non-EU travelers.

The decision comes after the EU has struggled with an ongoing migration crisis starting 2015, increased concern about terrorist activity following attacks on major European city centers, such as Paris, Brussels and London, and greater division within the bloc on questions of internal and external security that have inflamed the European extreme-right.

Voting in favor with 477 votes to 139 against, with 50 abstentions, Europe's parliamentary assembly supported the Entry/Exit System (EES), which will register information on non-EU citizens, such as name, travel document, fingerprints, facial image, date and place when they enter, exit or are refused entry into the Schengen area. Both travelers who require visas or who are visa-exempt for short stays of 90 days will be affected by the system.

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