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EU tightens rules for entry and exit of foreign citizens
18:59, 25 October 2017
EU tightens rules for entry and exit of foreign citizens

In particular, a new registration system has been introduced at external borders

18:59, 25 October 2017

EPA / UPG

A new system of registration of entry and exit at the external borders of the Schengen zone was introduced in European Union. Such decision was taken in the European Parliament, 477 deputies voted for it. This was stated in the message of the institution.

According to the decision, such measures were taken to strengthen the security of the EU.

"The rules regarding people entering the Schengen zone are in urgent need of updating due to safety concerns as well as an increase in the number of travellers in recent years. MEPs vote on the proposals during the plenary session in Strasbourg on 25 October., "the report said.

The proposed new system would lead to people from outside the EU having information on their entry, exit and refusal of entry registered when they travel to and from the EU. This would apply regardless of whether they need a visa or not.

“It would both strengthen and speed up border checks as it would replace stamping passports with an electronic system that stores data on travellers in order to faciliate fast crossing, while making easier to spot when fake identities are being used or track people staying longer than they are alllowed to. Currently travellers are only alllowed to stay 90 days in any 180-day period in the Schengen zone,” the message says.

Related: Around 300,000 Ukrainians went to EU countries visa-free

Spanish EPP member Agustín Díaz De Mera García Consuegra, the MEP in charging of steering the new rules through Parliament, said the new system could also help to identify terrorists:

“One method is for authorities and state security to have access to this data and by cross-checking it with other information, alerts can be issued quickly. It will be easier to prevent something like the Berlin Christmas market attack from happening, where the terrorist attacked and we found out afterwards that he had used 15 different identities.”

As it was reported earlier Ambassadors of EU member countries have approved the visa free regime for Ukrainian citizens. 

Related: Ukraine’s Vice Speaker: EU sanctions possible in case of visa free regime violations

By spring 2017, Ukraine finally fulfilled all EU requirements for the abolition of visa regime. That was confirmed by European officials of various levels. It took almost a year of reforms and submitting respective amendments in the Ukrainian law before this historical decision.

Previously, in late 2013, Euromaidan activists held mass rallies, demanding, in particular, better European future for Ukraine, which included signature of EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and, in certain perspective, a EU-Ukraine visa free regime. As the 2014 Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine proved victorious and the pro-Russian government was overthrown, the newly-shaped Ukrainian authority managed to get back on track with the EU. Despite the ongoing Russian aggression in Crimea and Donbas, common Ukrainian citizens and the current government have been working hard to obtain the visa free regime.    

Related: European Parliament to vote for EU-Ukraine visa free regime on April 3-6, - reporter

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