A chronological order of ETIAS

In November 2016 the European Commission proposed to establish a European Travel Information and Authorization System, ETIAS. The goal of this system is to strengthen and improve security checks on visitors from visa exempt countries.

ETIAS will be an automated IT system that will be managed by the eu-Lisa Agency, which operates large scale IT systems in the areas of security, freedom, and justice. During his State of the Union address in 2016, President Jean-Claude Juncker emphasized the importance of an automated system that would contribute to the security of the Schengen Zone external borders.

The development of ETIAS has gone through a long process. We have created a timeline of the past, present and future of ETIAS and what that means for foreign visitors.

Below, you will find detailed information about the relevant events that have occurred surrounding ETIAS and its implementation.

  • 2021

ETIAS is expected to be implemented this year.

  • April 16th, 2019

The European Commission welcomes the adoption of new measures that will deny terrorists and criminals the means and space to act. The European Union has adopted two Security Union legislative initiatives that were put forward by the Commission on the matters of interoperability and explosive precursors. The goal behind these measures is to allow EU information systems, including ETIAS, to work together in a more intelligent and efficient way.

  • September 5th, 2018

The European Council adopts the regulation to establish the ETIAS System. Herbert Kickl, Minister of the Interior of Austria, said, “ETIAS is an important tool to reinforce the control of the EU’s external border and the protection of our citizens. It will allow identifying those who may pose a security threat before they reach the European Union and deny them the authorization to travel.” After this adoption, the next step is for the Council and the European Parliament to sign the adopted regulation.

  • July 5th, 2018

Commission welcomes the European Parliament adoption of the ETIAS system and a stronger eu-LISA Agency. Final agreement is given to establish the ETIAS system.

  • July 5th, 2018

ETIAS Regulation is passed with 494 votes in favor, 115 against and 30 abstentions. This follows the Parliament’s green light. The legislation is then expected to be formally adopted by the Council of Ministers and then published in the Official Journal.

  • April 25th, 2018

European Commissioner for the Security Union, Julian King, announces that Political Consensus has been reached on ETIAS. Commission welcomes political agreement on the European Travel Information and Authorization System for a stronger and more secure Union.

  • December 12th, 2017

The EU Commission proposed to close information gaps by upgrading EU information systems for security, border and migration management and make them work together more efficiently. ETIAS would be directly affected by these improvements and upgrades.

  • October 19th, 2017

The costs of developing ETIAS are estimated at 212,1 million Euros. The Civil Liberties Committee backed the negotiating mandate with 39 votes, to 13 against and 1 abstention.

  • June 29th, 2017

The European Commission delivers its commitment to ensure interoperability and address the existing shortcomings of EU information systems for security and border management. The Commission proposes to strengthen the mandate of the EU Agency, as it is the agency that manages large scale security systems such as Eurodac. They also propose to create a centralized ECRIS-Third Country National System, a centralized database that will help member states verify convictions on non-EU citizens.

  • May 16th, 2017

The European Commission presents a report on the progress made towards an effective Security Union.

  • Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "The value of our security information is maximised when our systems talk to each other. The complex and fragmented systems we have today make us vulnerable. Actionable information is not always available for the law enforcement officials that need it. Today, we present a clear vision on how to act to correct this. To connect the dots and to eliminate blind spots to step up the security of our citizens across the EU."

  • Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King said: "The recent tragic attacks in Europe have highlighted the importance of effective information sharing between Member State authorities. The approach we are outlining today sets out a targeted and intelligent way of using the existing data to best effect. What we propose would be a step-change in the way we manage data for security, helping national authorities better addressing transnational threats and detecting terrorists who act across borders."

  • November 16th, 2016

First proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and the Council establishing a European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) and amending regulations. The European Commission publishes this proposal.

  • September 14th, 2016

President Juncker announces in his State of the Union Address that a system is needed and that it would be created to protect EU citizens. “We need to know who is crossing our borders. By November, we will propose an automated system to determine who will be allowed to travel to Europe. This way we will know who is traveling to Europe before they even get here."

Before ETIAS

The need to implement ETIAS is merely focusing on protecting the EU’s external borders. However, long before ETIAS, the region took a first step towards a common external border management policy. On June 14th, 1985 five European countries signed the international treaty called Schengen Agreement. In 1990 the Agreement was supplemented by the Schengen Convention which proposed the complete abolition of systematic international controls and a shared visa policy.

The Schengen Area was created and it operates as a single state for international travel purposes, with external border controls for third-country nationals entering and exiting the region. The Schengen Area is made up of 26 member states, and ETIAS will be a necessary requirement for citizens of over 60 eligible countries.

The Future of ETIAS

ETIAS is currently being developed by the eu-Lisa Agency, which already manages the operations of EU information systems SIS II, VIS and Eurodac. It is expected that ETIAS will be launched in the year 2021. Once it is made available, eligible travelers will need to complete an online application with their personal details, contact information, country of first intended entry, and passport data. Applications are expected to be processed quickly. Once approved, the ETIAS visa waiver will be valid for 3 consecutive years or until the passport expires.