BETA


2020/0278(COD) Screening Regulation

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead LIBE SIPPEL Birgit (icon: S&D S&D) ZOIDO ÁLVAREZ Juan Ignacio (icon: EPP EPP), OETJEN Jan-Christoph (icon: Renew Renew), STRIK Tineke (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), VANDENDRIESSCHE Tom (icon: ID ID), WEIMERS Charlie (icon: ECR ECR), ERNST Cornelia (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Committee Opinion AFET
Committee Opinion BUDG
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
TFEU 077-p2

Events

2024/05/22
   Final act published in Official Journal
2024/05/14
   CSL - Draft final act
Documents
2024/05/14
   EP/CSL - Act adopted by Council after Parliament's 1st reading
2024/05/14
   CSL - Final act signed
2024/04/10
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2024/04/10
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 366 votes to 229, with 26 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council introducing a screening of third-country nationals at the external borders.

The European Parliament's position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure amends the Commission's proposal as follows:

New rules for checks at EU borders and within its territory for people who entered the EU in an irregular manner

The new Regulation establishes:

- the screening at the external borders of the Member States of third-country nationals who, without fulfilling the entry conditions , have crossed the external border in an unauthorised manner, have applied for international protection during border checks, or have been disembarked after a search and rescue operation, before they are referred to the appropriate procedure, and

- the screening of third-country nationals illegally staying within the territory of the Member States where there is no indication that those third-country nationals have been subject to controls at external borders, before they are referred to the appropriate procedure.

The objective of the screening should be to strengthen the control of third-country nationals crossing the external borders, to identify all third-country nationals subject to the screening and to check against the relevant databases whether the persons subject to the screening might pose a threat to internal security . The screening should also entail preliminary health and vulnerability checks to identify persons in need of health care and persons that might pose a threat to public health, and to identify vulnerable persons.

Screening within the territory

Member States should carry out the screening of third-country nationals illegally staying within their territory only where such third-country nationals have crossed an external border to enter the territory of the Member States in an unauthorised manner and have not already been subjected to the screening in a Member State. Member States should lay down in their national law provisions to ensure that those third-country nationals remain available to the authorities responsible for carrying out the screening for the duration of the screening, to prevent any risk of absconding and potential threats to internal security resulting from such absconding.

The screening should be conducted at any adequate and appropriate location designated by each Member State, generally situated at or in proximity to the external borders or, alternatively, in other locations within its territory. It should be carried out without delay and in any case be completed within seven days from the apprehension in the external border area, the disembarkation in the territory of the Member State concerned or the presentation at the border crossing point.

Security checks should also be carried out by accessing the relevant databases (in particular the Schengen Information System, the Entry/Exit System, the European Information and Travel Authorisation System ETIAS and the European Criminal Records Information System - Third Country Nationals ECRIS-TCN system).

Requirements concerning the screening

Where it proves necessary and on the basis of an individual assessment of each case, Member States may detain a person subject to the screening, if other less coercive alternative measures cannot be applied effectively. Detention should only be applied as a measure of last resort in accordance with the principles of necessity and proportionality and should be subject to an effective remedy.

Member States should ensure that all persons subject to the screening are accorded a standard of living which guarantees their subsistence, protects their physical and mental health and respects their rights under the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Monitoring of fundamental rights

The Regulation provides that each Member State should provide for an independent monitoring mechanism , which should:

- monitor compliance with Union and international law, including the Charter, in particular as regards access to the asylum procedure, the principle of non-refoulement, the best interest of the child and the relevant rules on detention, including relevant provisions on detention in national law, during the screening; and

- ensure that substantiated allegations of failure to respect fundamental rights in all relevant activities in relation to the screening are dealt with effectively and without undue delay, trigger , where necessary, investigations into such allegations and monitor the progress of such investigations.

The independent monitoring mechanism should carry out its tasks on the basis of on-the-spot checks and random and unannounced checks. It should also have the power to issue annual recommendations to Member States.

Provision of information

Member States should ensure that third-country nationals subject to the screening are informed about: (a) the purpose, duration and elements of the screening, as well as the manner in which it is carried out and its possible outcomes; (b) the right to apply for international protection and the applicable rules on making an application for international protection. In the case of minors, the information should be provided in a child-friendly and age-appropriate manner and with the involvement of the representative.

Guarantees for minors

During the screening, the minor should be accompanied by, where present, an adult family member. The best interests of the child , in particular unaccompanied minors, should always be a primary consideration during screening.

Member States should, as soon as possible, take measures to ensure that a representative or, where a representative has not been appointed, a person trained to safeguard the best interests and general wellbeing of the minor accompanies and assists the unaccompanied minor during the screening in a child-friendly and age-appropriate manner and in a language that he or she understands.

The person in charge of accompanying and assisting an unaccompanied minor should act independently and should not receive orders either from persons responsible for the screening or from the screening authorities. Even if the unaccompanied minor is not represented, they should always have the right to apply for international protection.

Documents
2024/02/14
   EP - Approval in committee of the text agreed at 1st reading interinstitutional negotiations
Documents
2024/02/08
   CSL - Coreper letter confirming interinstitutional agreement
2024/02/08
   EP - Text agreed during interinstitutional negotiations
Documents
2023/04/20
   EP - Committee decision to enter into interinstitutional negotiations confirmed by plenary (Rule 71 - vote)
2023/04/17
   EP - Committee decision to enter into interinstitutional negotiations announced in plenary (Rule 71)
2023/04/14
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading
Details

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs adopted the report by Birgit SIPPEL (S&D, DE) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council introducing a screening of third-country nationals at the external borders and amending Regulations (EC) No 767/2008, (EU) 2017/2226, (EU) 2018/1240 and (EU) 2019/817.

The committee responsible recommended that the European Parliament's position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the proposal as follows:

Subject matter

The purpose of the screening should be to strengthen border checks at the external borders, to identify all third-country nationals subject to it and to verify against the relevant databases whether the persons subject to it might pose a threat to internal security. The screening should also include a mandatory preliminary health check and a mandatory preliminary vulnerability check, which seek to identify vulnerable persons, persons with special reception or procedural needs, and persons in need of health care. The screening should also seek to identify persons that possibly pose a threat to public health.

Requirements concerning the screening

The screening may be conducted at any appropriate and adequate location within the territory of a Member State to be designated by that Member State, including at or in proximity to the external borders. The screening should be completed as soon as possible and should not exceed five days . In a situation of crisis, the screening should be carried out at the latest within ten days. Member States should still always carry out the screening without delay and as quickly as possible.

Member States should ensure that all persons subject to the screening are accorded a standard of living which guarantees their subsistence, protects their physical and mental health.

Biometric surveillance technologies

Third-country nationals should not be subject to any intrusive biometric surveillance technologies nor predictive analytics and biometric categorisation in or around the reception or screening facilities or during the screening. The use of lie detection systems or long-range listening devices shall be prohibited.

Independent monitoring mechanism

The report stressed that each Member State should establish an independent monitoring mechanism to monitor compliance with Union and international law, during border surveillance and the screening procedure, including in relation to: (a) access to the asylum procedure; (b) the principle of non-refoulement; (c) the best interest of the child; (d) the right to health care; (e) reception conditions; (f) the relevant rules on detention of the person concerned; (g) the procedural safeguards applicable to the person concerned.

The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) should establish general guidance as to the establishment and the independent functioning of such monitoring mechanism.

Guarantees for minors

During the screening procedure, the best interests of the child should always be a primary consideration. Member States should, as soon as possible, take measures to ensure that a representative represents and assists the unaccompanied minor during the screening.

Documents
2023/03/28
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading
2023/03/28
   EP - Committee decision to open interinstitutional negotiations with report adopted in committee
2022/01/24
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2022/01/24
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2022/01/24
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2021/11/16
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2021/04/16
   EL_PARLIAMENT - Contribution
Documents
2021/03/30
   RO_SENATE - Contribution
Documents
2021/01/21
   PT_PARLIAMENT - Contribution
Documents
2020/12/15
   ES_PARLIAMENT - Contribution
Documents
2020/11/11
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading
2020/11/09
   EP - SIPPEL Birgit (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in LIBE
2020/09/23
   EC - Legislative proposal published
Details

PURPOSE: to establish a seamless pre-entry screening procedure at the external borders of the Member States applicable to all non-EU citizens crossing without authorisation.

PROPOSED ACT: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.

ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: the European Parliament decides in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and on an equal footing with the Council.

BACKGROUND: the New Pact on Migration and Asylum advocates integrated policy-making bringing together policies in the areas of asylum, migration, return, external border protection, fight against migrants’ smuggling and relations with key third countries reflecting a whole of government approach. It recognises that a comprehensive approach also means a stronger, more sustainable and tangible expression of the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility.

The challenges of migration management, related in particular to ensuring a quick identification of those in need of international protection or effective returns (for those who are not in need of protection), should be dealt with in an uniform manner by the entire EU as a whole. The available data demonstrate that the arrival of third-country nationals with clear international protection needs as observed in 2015-2016 has been partly replaced by mixed arrivals of persons. It is therefore important to develop a new effective process allowing for better management of mixed migration flows.

It is also important to create a tool allowing for the identification, at the earliest stage possible, of persons who are unlikely to receive protection in the EU. Such a tool should be built in the process of controls at the external borders, with a swift outcome as well as clear and fair rules, and should result in accessing the appropriate procedure (asylum or the procedure respecting the Return Directive).

CONTENT: given that the external border is where the EU needs to close the gaps between external border controls and asylum and return procedures, the Commission is proposing to establish a seamless procedure at the border applicable to all non-EU citizens crossing without authorisation, comprising pre-entry screening, an asylum procedure and where applicable a swift return procedure – thereby integrating processes which are currently separate.

This proposal seeks to put in place a pre-entry screening that should be applicable to all third-country nationals who are present at the external border without fulfilling the entry conditions or after disembarkation, following a search and rescue operation.

Objectives and main elements of the screening

The objective of the screening is to contribute to the new comprehensive approach to migration and mixed flows by ensuring that the identity of the persons but also any health and security risks are quickly established.

The screening shall include:

- a preliminary health and vulnerability check;

- an identity check against information in European databases;

- registration of biometric data (i.e. fingerprint data and facial image data) in the appropriate databases, to the extent it has not occurred yet; and

- a security check through a query of relevant national and Union databases, in particular the Schengen Information System (SIS), to verify that the person does not constitute a threat to internal security.

Scope

The proposed Regulation shall apply to:

- all third-country nationals who are present at the external border without fulfilling the entry conditions and for whom Member States are required to collect fingerprints under the Eurodac Regulation;

- persons who, although not eligible for entry to the EU, request international protection at border checks;

- people brought ashore following search and rescue operations at sea;

- persons apprehended on the territory if they first evaded external border checks on entering the Schengen area.

Location and duration of the screening

The location shall be at the external borders, except in certain cases. The proposed duration of the screening process is five days, unless the person concerned has already been kept at the border for 72 hours, in relation to unauthorised crossing of the external border. In such a case, the screening should not exceed 2 days. In case of the screening of persons apprehended within the territory the screening should not exceed three days. The proposal also stressed the need for the Member States to involve child protection authorities and the national Anti-trafficking rapporteurs in cases of vulnerable persons or minors.

Identification and security checks

Specific rules are proposed concerning the identification of third-country nationals by means of consulting the Common Identity Repository (CIR) established by the Interoperability Regulation. Consultation of the CIR allows consulting identity data present in the EES, VIS, ETIAS, Eurodac and ECRIS-TCN in one go, in a fast and reliable manner, while ensuring a maximum protection of the data and avoiding unnecessary processing of or duplication of data.

Competent authorities should also consult the Interpol Travel Documents Associated with Notices (TDAWN) database in order to verify whether the third country nationals do not present a security threat. All such checks should be carried out, to the extent possible, on the basis of biometric data, in order to minimise the risk of false identification, and the results of the searches should be restricted to reliable data only.

Role of EU agencies

Lastly, the proposal recognises the role of the EU agencies – Frontex and the European Union Agency for Asylum, which may accompany and support the competent authorities in all their tasks related to the screening. It also gives an important role to the Fundamental Rights Agency in supporting Member States in development of the independent monitoring mechanisms of fundamental rights in relation to the screening.

Budgetary implications

The proposed Regulation has implications for the EU budget. The total financial resources necessary to support the implementation of this proposal is estimated at an amount of EUR 417.626 million, for the period 2021-2027.

The following elements of the screening will potentially require financial support: (i) infrastructure for the screening: creation and use/upgrade of the existing premises at the Border Crossing Points, reception centres etc.; (ii) access to the relevant databases at new locations; (iii) hiring of additional staff to carry out the screening; (iv) training of border guards and other staff to carry out the screening; (v) recruitment of medical staff; (vi) medical equipment and premises for the preliminary health checks, where appropriate; (vii) setting up the independent monitoring mechanism of fundamental rights during the screening.

The expenses related to these new tasks can be covered by the resources available to the Member States under the new Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.

Documents

Votes

Filtrage des ressortissants de pays tiers aux frontières extérieures - Screening of third country nationals at the external borders - Screening von Drittstaatsangehörigen an den Außengrenzen - A9-0149/2023 - Birgit Sippel - Décision d'engager des négociations interinstitutionnelles (article 71 du règlement) #

2023/04/20 Outcome: +: 419, -: 126, 0: 30
DE IT ES FR RO NL AT SE PT DK BG SK SI HR LU IE LT BE CZ MT LV FI EL EE CY ?? HU PL
Total
82
57
54
67
21
28
16
19
16
14
11
13
6
12
6
12
7
18
18
3
6
10
10
5
3
1
19
41
icon: PPE PPE
138

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1

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3

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A9-0149/2023 – Birgit Sippel – Request to vote on the amendments to the draft legislative act #

2024/04/10 Outcome: -: 498, +: 120, 0: 6
HU CZ MT LV EE CY SI LU HR PL BG SK LT EL FI AT DK IE SE BE NL RO PT IT FR ES DE
Total
18
21
4
7
7
5
7
6
6
47
14
14
9
15
14
18
14
12
21
21
28
17
20
61
71
55
92
icon: ID ID
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A9-0149/2023 – Birgit Sippel – Provisional agreement – Am 210 #

2024/04/10 Outcome: +: 366, -: 229, 0: 26
ES RO BG NL DE SE AT PT DK SK SI LT FI HR EE BE LV MT LU CZ IE CY EL HU FR IT PL
Total
55
17
14
28
92
21
18
20
14
14
7
9
14
6
7
21
7
4
6
21
12
5
15
18
70
61
45
icon: PPE PPE
152

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1

Croatia PPE

2

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1

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icon: Renew Renew
95
3

Austria Renew

For (1)

1

Slovenia Renew

2

Lithuania Renew

1

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3

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Estonia Renew

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48
3

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AmendmentsDossier
683 2020/0278(COD)
2022/01/24 LIBE 20 amendments...
source: 703.278
2022/01/26 LIBE 300 amendments...