Plans are underway to move towards a fee for online security check for all visitors, business and tourist, to European Union countries. Under the proposed system all visitors would have to pay a 5 Euro fee for the online security check to be carried out before entry to the European Union. The system would be identity papers and residency details along with security and crime checks against databases. All travellers from outside the Union who travel under visa free travel would have to complete the checks.
The unprecedented influx of migrants into south Europe over the last few years has prompted the move along with concerns over security following the devastating attacks in Paris and Brussels.
Known as ETIAS the plans are also addressing concerns over the proposed visa free travel arrangements for Turkey and the Ukraine which are currently causing concern amongst EU citizen. The system would allow all travellers to go online, pay the fee and get clearance for travel which would be valid for five years.
“Securing our borders and protecting our citizens is our first priority. ETIAS will close an information gap by cross-checking visa-exempt applicants’ information against all our other systems,” said the European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans.
Covering all countries that currently do not require a visa to travel to the EU including the USA and Japan it is believed that the plans may also cover visitors from the United Kingdom post Brexit.
The move is another effort to allay fears from European Union citizens over immigration and terrorism fears. Currently there is much concern over the migrant crisis and security across Europe and politicians are working hard to address these fears. It is hoped that checks such as the ones proposed under ETIAS will make it easier to monitor and control the movement of people across Europe.