Travelers entering the European Union may be able to avoid having fingerprints and biometric data taken until 2024 because the long-awaited entry/exit system looks to be delayed … again.
Using the latest in biometric and fingerprint technology, the EES will streamline security for third-party nationals entering the EU. It will take their fingerprints and facial biometrics each time they cross a Schengen border and record the date and place of entry or exit.
In short, it’s about tightening controls and helping border officials.
“EES is among the measures undertaken as part of the Security Union and will help achieve the objectives of the European Agenda on Security and the European Agenda on Migration in particular regarding border management and preventing cross-border crime and terrorism,” according to the official website of the European Union.
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The system was first slated to begin operating in 2021 but was pushed to November 2023. The rollout has been postponed once again, according to The Independent.
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The newspaper says officials for the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice — the agency in charge of the EU’s major IT system operations — do not believe the technology will be ready in time for winter. This casts doubt on whether we’ll see it before the 2024 Paris Olympics, which will take place from July 26 to Aug. 11.
The earliest current launch is reportedly May 2024, just before the sporting event is set to begin. However, this will likely be pushed back to avoid any potential issues arising with the system’s launch.
More than 10,500 athletes, hundreds of delegates and millions of sports fans from 206 nations are expected to pour into the French capital next summer ahead of the global spectacle. So, it’s believed that officials would look to avoid any potential disruptions as a result of the system.
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Officials who recently met at a Stockholm airport hotel to discuss EES have seemingly decided that the technology will come after the Paris Games. However, the official verdict isn’t likely to be announced until after a follow-up meeting scheduled to take place online on May 31.
Once the EES is up and running, it is set to boost the wider use of self-service systems and automated border control checks, providing “quicker and more comfortable” points of entry for non-EU travelers.