The European border and coast guard agency, Frontex, has completed the Entry Exit System pilot project at land borders, which was hosted by Spain and Bulgaria. The exercise simulated the future Entry Exit System (EES) environment by collecting and cross-checking the required data in full compliance with fundamental rights and personal data protection measures.
EES will change the way travelers cross borders and help protect the security of European citizens by centralizing the information on border crossings. The system will register travelers from non-EU countries – both short-stay visa holders and visa exempt travelers, each time they cross an EU external border. It will register the traveler’s name, travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and facial image) and the date and place of entry or exit, in full respect of fundamental rights and data protection.
During the trial, four travelers could be processed at the same time under the supervision of one border guard, proving the efficiency of the system while maintaining direct control of law enforcement officers.
Practical demonstrations of the systems took place at Bulgaria’s border with Turkey and Spain’s border with the U.K. (Gibraltar) and included self-service kiosks, seamless corridors and mobile devices used for registration and verification of travelers.
Participants observed the processing of passengers and received feedback from colleagues operating the system. The lessons learned and practical operational outcomes will be used by Member States’ border authorities and European agencies alike as the EU prepares for the implementation of the EES.