Border management: Commission welcomes political agreement towards making European Travel Information and Authorisation System operational

Photographer: Johanna Leguerre

European Union, 2011
Source: EC – Audiovisual Service

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

The Commission welcomes today’s political agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on making the future European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) interoperable with other EU information systems. This is an important step towards the entry into operation of the system by the end of 2022. The agreement contributes to the EU’s ongoing work to put in place a state-of-the-art external border management system and making sure that information systems work together in an intelligent and targeted way.

Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas said: “Our police officers and border guards need to have the right tools to do their jobs – keeping our citizens safe and our borders secure. Anyone who poses a migratory or security risk will be identified before they even travel to EU borders, while bona fide travellers’ journeys will be made that much easier. This is an essential step in building a Security Union with strong external borders and faster, more systematic information for law enforcement officers, border guards and migration officials on the ground.”

Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said: “We need to know who is crossing our external borders. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System will provide advance information on travellers before they reach the EU’s borders to identify security or health risks. It is part of one of the most advanced and robust external border management systems worldwide. It supports the European area of freedom, security and justice. The rules we agreed today guarantee compliance with the right to personal data protection.”

Once ETIAS is in place, non-EU citizens travelling to the Schengen area who are exempt from the visa requirement will need to register and obtain an authorisation before travelling. The system will cross-check travellers against EU information systems for borders, security and migration before their trip, helping to identify ahead of time people who may pose a risk to security or health, as well as compliance with migration rules.

Today’s agreement details how ETIAS will work with other EU information systems it will query when conducting checks, namely the Entry/Exit System, the Visa Information System, the Schengen Information System and a centralised system for the identification of Member States holding conviction information on non-EU nationals. This includes the purpose of the queries, the data to be used for such queries and provisions for granting the ETIAS central and national units with the necessary access rights, in full respect of fundamental rights including personal data protection.

Next steps

The European Parliament and the Council will need to confirm formally today’s political agreement by adopting the 3 Regulations. The EU Agency responsible for managing large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA) is working on developing ETIAS, in view of its entry into operation by the end of 2022. eu-LISA will integrate the rules agreed today into the design of ETIAS. Once in place, ETIAS will be managed by the Member States, in close cooperation with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Europol.


Today’s agreement concerns 3 Regulations setting out the conditions for accessing the information systems that ETIAS will query as part of its automated checks, following proposals made by the Commission in January 2019.

The agreement is part of ongoing work towards modernising information systems for security, border and migration management and making them interoperable by 2023. This will lead to faster, more systematic information for law enforcement officers, border guards and migration officials, where information was previously stored separately in unconnected systems. It will help ensure correct identification of those crossing the EU’s borders and contribute to fighting identity fraud, improving border management and enhancing security. 

ETIAS will not change which non-EU countries are subject to a visa requirement. It will also not introduce a new visa requirement for nationals of countries that are visa-exempt. It will, however, subject visa-exempt non-EU nationals to an authorisation system before they travel. It will take only a few minutes to fill in an online application which in a vast majority of cases (expected to be over 95%) will result in automatic approval. The process will be simple, fast and affordable: the ETIAS authorisation will cost €7, which will be a one-off fee, and will be valid for 3 years and for multiple entries.

For more information

European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)

Regulation establishing a European Travel Information and Authorisation System

Proposal for a Regulation establishing the conditions for accessing the other EU information systems and amending the Regulation on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters and the ECRIS-TCN Regulation, 7 January 2019

Proposal for a Regulation establishing the conditions for accessing other EU information systems for ETIAS purposes and amending the ETIAS Regulation, the Visa Information System Regulation, the Entry/Exit System Regulation and the Regulation on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of border checks, 7 January 2019

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