Parliament supports creation of new EU travel authorisation system
The European Parliament voted today strongly in favour of establishing a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)  – in line with similar models in the US, Canada and Australia – as proposed by the European Commission. Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament, while generally in favour of visa liberalisation, find the proposed new system an adequate tool to control the migration and security risks, as the ETIAS will collect information of the visa-exempt travellers to screen them before entering the territory. Europol, the Union's law enforcement agency, will be tasked with managing a database of persons who are suspected of committing serious crime or a terrorist offence.
Gerard Deprez MEP, ALDE Shadow Rapporteur commented:
"I am pleased to see that the new ETIAS will neither overburden bona fide travellers with bureaucracy, nor will it impose additional costs on European tax payers. The collection of sensitive data will be limited, while the process shall be swift for more than 95% of the travellers. At the same time, ETIAS will be financially self-sustaining, as the operational costs will be covered by the revenue from fees."
Natalie Griesbeck MEP, LIBE Coordinator for ALDE added:
"The new ETIAS system makes it possible to further consolidate control of the EU's external borders. While the vast majority of travellers come to Europe in good faith, we cannot exclude that a small number of them may pose a risk to the security of European citizens. As Chair of the EP Special Committee on Terrorism (TERR), I am satisfied with the arrangements we have put in place: they create a fair and effective tool, while ensuring that the current Schengen visa policy is not changed in any way. ''
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