Statement by Commissioners Avramopoulos and King: Systematic checks of EU citizens at external borders agreed by European Parliament and Council

The European Parliament and the Council reached agreement yesterday on the Commission’s proposal to introduce mandatory systematic checks of all travellers, including EU citizens, against relevant databases when crossing the EU’s external borders. The Commission welcomes the agreement and now looks forward to the swift adoption of the proposal by the European Parliament Plenary and the Council. Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015, we proposed to introduce systematic checks of all citizens at all external borders so we know exactly who crosses our borders. I welcome that the European Parliament and the Council have now agreed on our proposal to modify the Schengen Borders Code to that effect. In addition to the successful launch of the European Border and Coast Guard in October, enforcing systematic controls on all travellers crossing EU external borders is another crucial step in our work to preserve the freedom of movement within the Schengen area and ensuring the security of our citizens.” Commissioner for the Security Union, Julian King said: “Terrorists don’t respect national borders and systematic checks at the external borders are a key way to stop them from coming into the EU but also from travelling to conflict zones. I welcome today’s agreement as it will mean that for the first time all those entering and exiting the EU will be checked against a key database for law enforcement in the EU – the Schengen Information System. It will help detect all the wanted individuals who have an alert placed on them– including foreign terrorist fighters. The agreement should now be formally adopted by the co-legislators so that it can enter into force and be applied by Member States as soon as possible.”