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Sarah speaking about the use of the Visa Information System under the Schengen Borders Code

September 1, 2008 12:30 PM
By Sarah Ludford (on behalf of the ALDE group) in European Parliament

Mr President, as the rapporteur on the visa information system (VIS), and still working on the amendment of the common consular instructions to govern the actual collection of the biometrics, I take a great interest in anything that concerns the visa information system.

When we decided on the VIS, we allowed for this three-year period when the search could be done using just the visa sticker, without the fingerprints in the VIS. But I have slightly mixed feelings about the compromise. I support it because that is what has been able to be agreed. But on the other hand the Commission has rightly said that only a biometric check can confirm with certainty that the person wishing to enter is the one to whom the visa has been issued, and therefore a systematic consultation of the VIS, including a biometric check by border guards, should be performed for each visa holder. I am therefore a little bit worried about the derogation and the ability to have random checks.

I shall look forward to this report after three years, and ensure that flexibility has not become a loophole, because of course if we are going to have the VIS we had better apply it properly.