EU citizens and third country nationals entering or exiting the European Union will be required to undergo extensive checks against EU-wide databases following regulation voted on Thursday by the European Parliament.
The screening procedures, which have been designed to improve security inside the EU, will be mandatory at all air, sea and land borders.
Initially agreed on in December, the new ruling obliges EU member states to conduct systematic checks on all EU citizens and third country nationals crossing EU external borders against databases of the Schengen Information System (SIS), Interpol data on stolen and lost documents and other relevant EU databases.
“Border security is always a compromise between security, practicality and privacy, but in my mind security has to come first. We have to tackle the ever deteriorating security situation and stop returning foreign fighters at our borders,” said MEP Monica Macovei.
The new set of rules comes in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Brussels, Paris and Berlin.
Meanwhile, there are concerns that the tougher checks will lead to border delays at airports, which have up to six months to adjust their air border infrastructure.