Deal on an enhanced information system for visas in the EU
Parliament and Council’s negotiators agreed on a reform of the Visa Information System that works well with key databases and respects fundamental rights.
According to the political agreement reached on Tuesday, the future Visa Information System (VIS) Regulation will establish clear conditions for access to different systems and databases, as well as the necessary fundamental rights safeguards.
Parliament’s key demands were taken on board in the negotiation. The deal provides for:
- improved legal and technical architecture of the system and interoperability with the other EU databases (Schengen Information System, the Entry-Exit System, European Travel Information Authorisation System, Eurodac, Europol data and ECRIS-TCN ) as part of the visa procedure;
- long-stay documents are included, and the rights of the holders of such documents are safeguarded more robustly;
- enhanced access for Europol and law enforcement authorities to VIS data;
- the age at which fingerprints and facial images of minors can be collected will be lowered from 12 to 6 years in order to help identify and trace missing children, combat child trafficking and establish family links; fingerprints will not be required from those over the age of 75;
- better safeguards on the use of facial images for biometric matching.
The Commission will keep both the Parliament and the Council informed about the state of play on the preparations for the implementation of this reform, due in 2023.
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