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Frontex Finalizes Entry-Exit System Pilot Project

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) has completed the pilot project of the Entry and Exit System (EES) at the land border, hosted by Spain and Bulgaria, a recent report published by the agency confirmed.

According to the Frontex announcement, such an exercise simulates the future of the EES environment by collecting and verifying the required data, following basic rights and personal data protection measures, reports.

“During the trial, four travelers can be treated simultaneously under the supervision of a border guard, demonstrating the efficiency of the system while maintaining direct control of law enforcement officers,” said the statement published by Frontex.

Practical demonstrations of the system were made on the Bulgarian border with Turkey as well as the Spanish border with the United Kingdom.

Participants observed passenger progress and received feedback from colleagues operating the EES system.

“The lessons learned and practical operational results will be used by the border authorities of member states and European agencies alike as the EU prepares to implement the Eastern European Plan,” the statement read.

Frontex stressed that while the coronavirus situation continues to affect other countries, and the number of travelers continues to increase again, there are solutions required for a fast, seamless and touchless border crossing experience that will also ensure security. The EES will also help protect the security of European citizens, focusing on information about border crossings.

Through the EES system, travelers from countries outside the European Union, both short-stay visa holders and visa-exempt travelers, will be registered every time they cross the EU’s external borders.

In addition, the system will also record the passenger’s name, travel document and biometric data, as well as the date and place of entry or exit, in accordance with basic rights and data protection.

Previously, it was announced that the new entry and exit system would not be operational by the end of next year after it was reported that the operation could face further delays.

Based on the EU’s internal document dated October 20, drafted by the EU’s police agency Europol, “Promises of greater security appear to be facing problems amid a large number of delays,” as previously reported by the EU Observer.

Previously, the non-profit organization Statewatch also stressed that the implementation of the entry-exit regime in the European Union may not take place in May 2022, as announced. The delay in implementing the system is mainly due to the technical and organizational issues it is currently facing. According to reports, its implementation may be delayed after the summer of 2022.

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