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EU justice chief proposes enhanced border security initiatives

[JURIST] EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security Franco Frattini [official profile] Wednesday unveiled a comprehensive new border management package [press release; news conference recorded audio] on behalf of the European Commission. The border security improvement initiative includes proposals for the creation of a European Border Surveillance System [press release] to prevent unauthorized border crossings and the development of new tools for an integrated European Border Management Strategy [press release, DOC]. Frattini also proposed an entry/exit system and the introduction of automated border crossing facilities for bona fide travelers. If approved, travelers in and out of the 27-member EU may have to submit fingerprints or other biometric identifiers at borders. The EU Parliament and Council of Ministers must approve the measures before they can become law.

Frattini previously introduced a new package of counter terrorism proposals [JURIST report] in November calling for the implementation of an EU-wide system for the exchange of passenger name records. Frattini said in September that the European Commission was moving forward with plans to establish an EU-wide airline passenger data recording system [JURIST report] despite privacy concerns. In July, the EU and US reached a new agreement on passenger data-sharing [JURIST report] under which air carriers will transmit passenger data directly to the US Department of Homeland Security within 15 minutes of a European flight's departure for the US. AP has more. EUObserver has additional coverage.

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