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15th February 2007
Portugal has established a system for border control within the EU. (Lusa, Brasil, 15 Feb)

A New system for border control within countries of the European Union, created by Portuguese experts will be implemented in April of the current year, including the members that joined the Union after 2004.

 

The Portuguese system is an adaptation of the system currently used within the EU – The Schengen Information System (SIS), which until now only covered those countries that were members before 2004. The SIS, with head office in Strasbourg, France, which has been in use since 1995, is a huge computerised system which offers immediate information regarding data introduced in the system by the member-states, concerning citizens (for whom search warrants were issued or who were reported missing, for example) and property (such as stolen cars).

 

The new system offered by Portugal will not be a definite solution, but just a temporary measure up to the moment when the SIS II, which is delayed in its development, becomes implemented. The new SIS will encompass the possibility of introducing biometric data, such as photographs and finger prints.


This Monday, in Brussels, the Portuguese Minister of Internal Affairs, António Costa, invited his counterparts of the new Member-states of the EU to visit Portugal on march 27, few days before introducing the new software, in order to receive a kit. The new system, which was designed by experts of the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras- SEF), in cooperation with a Portuguese company “Critical Software” which works for the American Space Agency (Nasa), was approved by the 25 members of the EU in December 2006. By using this Portuguese device, it will be possible to suppress border control at the internal sea and land borders as of December 2007, and air borders up to March 2008.


 

All Member-States that joined the Union in 2004 accepted to adopt the new system and confirmed their intention of fulfilling the demanding safety conditions imposed by the Schengen Acquis , with the exception of Cyprus that alleged will only be ready at a latter date.


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