The development of the Schengen Information System (SIS) represents one of the main measures to compensate for the abolition of checks at the internal Borders. SIS is a database shared by the countries that integrate the Schengen Area and which enables national authorities in charge of border control, immigration, law enforcement and issuance of visas in those States gaining access to information on people (whose entry and / or permanence within the Schengen area is inadmissible, who are the object of an arrest warrant, who have been missing, who are required to appear before a judiciary authority, or on whom discreet surveillance or specific surveillance, or both, impend) and on objects (blank or issued documents, vehicles, number plates, bank notes, among others). SIS is a crucial element for the proper functioning of the area of Freedom, Security and Justice.
The efforts towards developing and implementing a new and more advanced version of the system, known as the Second General of SIS (SIS II), as a project of highest technical complexity, have been evolving since 2001. SIS II introduces enhanced features in relation to SIS I + (a version of the initial database SIS I), as well as new types of alerts, the possibility of using biometrics, of linking different alerts (for example a person and a vehicle), of making direct searches on the system, and, last but not least, of reinforcing data protection.
With it becoming operational on the 9th of April 2013, SIS II shall become one of the largest electronic systems of this kind in the world, and one must highlight the contribution of Portugal throughout the whole process. Hence, SIS II shall pursue its crucial mission as a compensation measure for the abolition of checks at the internal borders and as a facilitator of the free movements of citizens within the Schengen Area.
The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service, as responsible authority for SIS II and as national promoter of this EU campaign on the launching of the System, has produced a number of posters and leaflets on the project which will be distributed at Border Posts and Regional Directorates, and through several other authorities, such as law enforcement bodies, ACIDI, the Directorate General of Consular Affairs and of the Portuguese Communities, the National Data Protection Authority, at national level.
In addition, several events shall be held during the period of the campaign with a view to inform and raise the awareness on the SIS II.
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