Proposals to create a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) should ease travel to the EU and simplify border checks. However, in its latest Opinion the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) points to various fundamental rights concerns in the system. These include the collection of sensitive personal data, who can access the data and how long the data are kept.
The European Commission’s proposes creating a new large-scale EU-wide information system that will apply to all Schengen countries. Similar to the US’ ESTA travel system, ETIAS will screen people from visa-free countries before they travel to check whether or not they can enter the EU. Border controls will still apply but should be much simpler for ETIAS-authorised travellers.
The European Parliament asked the Agency for its Opinion on the fundamental rights impact of the ETIAS proposal. Since the European Commission has not carried a comprehensive fundamental rights impact assessment, this Opinion indicates how ETIAS could affect fundamental rights. Some of the observations include the need to:
This Opinion aims to raise awareness of some of the issues that require further consideration to improve overall fundamental rights compliance.
FRA issues Opinions on specific thematic topics, following requests for advice from the European Parliament, the EU Council or the European Commission. These Opinions are part of the agency's fundamental rights assistance and expertise that it provides to EU institutions and Member States.