Ensuring Europe’s security has become a top priority. With the increase of migrants, tourism and terrorist attacks in the last couple of years, it has become more evident that there has to be another layer added to the screening process for all those crossing Europe’s borders. EU citizens will rest easier knowing that all those currently traveling to the Schengen Area (60 nationalities) who do not require a visa, will now have to provide their information and apply for a travel authorization beforehand.

With that in mind, the EU Council has created the European Travel Information Authorization System (ETIAS visa waiver), an automated IT system that will help identify and assess any risks associated with visa-exempt nationals traveling to and within the Schengen Area.

ETIAS Europe will assist in determining all those who may compromise security or pose an irregular migration danger before going to the EU. By requiring that all visa-exempt travelers apply for a travel authorization through the ETIAS EU system will heighten security by gathering information on previously unknown visitors, that will be paramount to Member States’ border control and law enforcement authorities.

How will the ETIAS automated system work?

The information collected via the ETIAS visa waiver system complies with fundamental rights and data protection laws and regulations. The ETIAS EU system will assess potential security or irregular migration risks. Through an advanced system, ETIAS will verify the information submitted by nationals from visa-exempt countries to grant or deny a travel authorization.

The data collected may also be made available to domestic law enforcement authorities if necessary for the prevention, detection or investigation of a terrorist offense, or other serious criminal offenses as well as for the identification of the perpetrator of a terrorist attack or other serious crime. The system will automatically check each application the following databases:

Relevant existing EU information systems:

  • The Schengen Information System (SIS)
  • The Visa Information System (VIS)
  • Europol data
  • The Eurodac database

Proposed future EU information systems:

  • The Entry/Exit System (EES)
  • The European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS)

Relevant Interpol databases:

  • Interpol Stolen and Lost Travel Document database (SLTD)
  • Interpol Travel Documents Associated with Notices database (TDAWN)); and
  • A dedicated ETIAS watch list (which will be established by Europol)

By collecting biometric information on all visitors’ before their arrival to the Schengen border, ETIAS will help close existing security information gaps and provide vital information to the authorities of all the Member States. ETIAS EU will further assist in determining potential risks and/or suspicious individuals and therefore help take action before they reach the Schengen Area’s external borders. Moreover, it will improve the detection of trafficking in human beings (particularly in the case of minors), help tackle border-crossing criminality, and will aid in the identification of individuals whose presence in the Schengen area could pose a security threat.

ETIAS Europe is vital to the improvement of the security of European citizens in the Schengen Area as well as enhance security within the EU.