European Union's plan of stricter border controls
European Union carries the original idea of territorial equality, hospitality and open borders that welcome basically every person from the most distant corners of the world. The so called Schengen Zone allows entering the territory of EU with or without visa, completely for free, and as swiftly as possible. Citizens of 62 countries who are not in the EU, but possess visas are allowed to go into countries of Schengen Zone for business or travel purposes for up to 90 days, during which they can not work or study legally. This system is what attracts so many people to European Union, presenting it as a remarkably open and friendly asylum for nearly everybody. However, is it as perfect as we all think it is?
European Union authorities, in order to reduce various procedures and awaiting time has came up with an outstanding, modern solution called ETIAS. European Travel Information and Authorisation System is a completely electronic and sophisticated system which keeps track of visitors entering EU, travelling from countries not requiring visas to cross the european Schengen Zone. All of the proceedings to implement legal procedures of ETIAS have started in 2016 and the system itself should be implemented in 2020.
Even though European Union’s main domain is “open borders for everyone”, recent refugee-related events and various terrorism experience has teached us a lesson. In his 2016 State of the Union Address, Jean-Claude Juncker being the President of the European Commission has admitted that EU authorities need to know who is crossing European borders. Security issues have became the top priority of ETIAS authorization system as the European Commission aims at ensuring safe travels and the detection of potential threats to its citizens.
As a result, nationals of countries from the outside of Schengen Zone will be required to fill up an electronic form, disclosing their personal data in order to get a three years valid permission to enter the territory of the European Union. Signing up for ETIAS will require revealing any criminal history, relocation sentences or residing in any war zones. European Union will lose its idea of free and open borders on the behalf of stricter border-passing rules that will make travelling to EU a much safer experience.