EU to fingerprint foreigners to beef up borders

The European Commission unveiled on Wednesday a plan to fingerprint all foreigners visiting 24 European countries.

The electronic register, similar to a policy adopted by the United States after the September 11 2001 attacks could go into effect by 2015 if governments and European lawmakers agree, the European Union executive said.

The scheme is among commission proposals to fight terrorism, organised crime and illegal migration. Travellers can now cross national borders between 24 member states in the enlarged border-free ”Schengen” zone without checks.

EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini said the focus would be on better use of modern technology ”to facilitate travelling of honest people, while preventing terrorists, criminals, illegal migrants from entering the EU”.

”We cannot have mafia, or traffickers, or terrorists, using better technology than our police,” he told a news conference.

The entry/exit electronic register, which has sparked privacy concerns, could be complemented by a form air travellers would fill in on the internet before flying to the bloc.

The extra security measures could be compensated by accelerated, automated check-in procedures for registered travellers considered safe enough by consular authorities.

All EU states except Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria are part of the borderless area, to which non-EU members Norway and Iceland also belong. — Reuters

An actual Black Friday deal

Subscribe for R2/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Magashule wants court to throw out state’s case against him

Former Free State premier asks the court to declare that the state's case against him contains no evidence that would lead to a successful conviction

Brakes put on foreign truck drivers

New legislation aims to protect local jobs in the transport sector amid questions as to whether SA has enough willing and skilled drivers

Western Cape schools benefit from zero waste project

The initiative provides schools with a toolkit to reduce the waste they send to landfills by recycling more effectively

The Mozambican criminal who escaped from South African prisons, twice

A rhino-poaching suspect, who recently escaped from police custody, has been identified as a criminal who was serving multiple life sentences when he broke out of prison last year

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…