04:01 GMT19 May 2021
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    New rules proposed by the European Commission in December 2016 have come into force across Europe.

    The rules will strengthen the Schengen Information System (SIS), Europe's most widely used security and border management database, which has been consulted five billion times since 2017.

    "We are closing a critical security gap today in the EU. Member States will have an obligation to introduce terrorism alerts into the reinforced Schengen Information System. Anyone posing a threat should not go unnoticed anymore, the interoperability of SIS with our other information systems on security, borders and migration in the near future will make sure that all the dots are properly connected on our radar screens," said Europe's Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos.

    "The SIS is a key tool for security in the EU, allowing national authorities to catch criminals and terrorists all over Europe. The new obligation to create SIS alerts will help make Europe safer — especially when it comes to tackling terrorism — as part of our wider efforts to strengthen information sharing and make our information systems work together more effectively," said the Commissioner for the Security Union, Julian King.

    ​Starting on Friday, December 28, national authorities are obliged to create a SIS alert for all cases related to terrorist offences.

    By the end of 2019 member states will also have to inform Europol of alerts linked to terrorism.

    It will also be compulsory to insert into SIS any entry bans issued to third-country nationals preventing them from entering the Schengen area.

    National authorities will be able to issue preventive alerts on persons who are in need of protection, including children and missing people.

    ​The new rules will allow SIS alerts to be issued for unknown persons who are wanted in connection with a crime.

    A new alert category for "return decisions" has been introduced to improve the enforcement of return decisions issued to irregularly staying third-country nationals.

    Austria, Belgium,Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Switzerland make up the Schengen area.


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