Meddelelse fra Kommisjonen til Europaparlamentet og Rådet: Smarte grenser - og veien videre
Meddelelse lagt fram av Kommisjonen 25.10.2011
BAKGRUNN (fra kommisjonsmeddelelsen, engelsk utgave)
Free movement of EU citizens and the abolition of checks at the internal borders of the Schengen Area are among the most tangible achievements of the European Union. The Commission recently made proposals to strengthen the overall governance of the Schengen area  so as to ensure that this major achievement is further enhanced and developed in a truly common European framework.
The integrity of the Union’s external borders is a prerequisite for the Schengen area as we know it today and will remain a prerequisite also in the future. Measures to manage the external borders must meet the dual objectives of enhancing security and facilitating travel.
The potential offered by new technologies in this regard was addressed in the Commission’s 2008 Communication "Preparing the next steps in border management in the European Union" , setting out the possible components of what has become known as the "smart borders" initiative and inviting the views of the European Parliament and the Council.
Further consultations with Member States both at expert and ministerial level, as well as with members of the European Parliament, took place in 2011. On 7 July 2011 the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), in his opinion  on the communication of the Commission on Migration,  stressed the need to assess the use of existing systems and to prove the necessity for an entry/exit system in particular.
Taking these views into account, the Commission has now reached the stage where it could soon be ready to propose specific measures. However, in view of the long term commitment and the significant investment that would be involved, the Commission is first presenting this Communication which sets out the main options, summarises the main implications and the possible way forward. With this approach, the Commission also intends to promote a common understanding of the issues at stake and the decisions to be taken. It does not prejudge any future specific proposals, which will be accompanied by a full impact assessment.
This Communication also provides the first response to the European Council which called, at its meeting on 23 and 24 June 2011 , for work on “smart borders” to be pushed forward rapidly.
Finally, as also foreseen by the 2008 Communication, and as requested by the Council, the Commission has examined the feasibility of an EU Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). This Communication therefore also serves to reflect the results of this examination and the intended follow up.
1 COM(2011)559 final, COM(2011)560 final,COM(2011) 561 final
2 COM (2008) 69 final.
4 COM(2011)248 final
5 EUCO 23/11