Mandatory systematic checks of EU citizens crossing external Schengen borders

In the case of Malta, citizens will undergo a systematic border check when flying to and from airports in the United Kingdom and airports such as Istanbul, Moscow, Tripoli and Tunis

7 April 2017, 7:22pm
As of today, Member States are obliged to carry out systematic checks against relevant databases on EU citizens who are crossing the EU's external borders, in addition to the systematic checks already being carried out on all third-country nationals entering the Schengen zone.

Proposed by the Commission in a direct response to the attacks in Paris in November 2015 and the growing threat from foreign terrorist fighters, the new rules - adopted by the Council on 7 March - strengthen the management of the EU's external borders.

The European Commission said the revision ensures a good balance between the current security challenges and the need to avoid disproportionate impacts on traffic flows at border crossings.

“Alongside the ongoing roll-out of the European Border and Coast Guard, the reinforcement of the Schengen Borders Code reflects the EU's joint commitment to preserving the freedom of movement within the Schengen area and ensuring the security of EU citizens.”

In the case of Malta, this means that Maltese immigration authorities have started implementing systematic checks on all EU citizens, including Maltese nationals, entering Malta from airports and seaports outside the Schengen area, or leaving Malta towards such destinations.

“Maltese and other EU citizens will thereby undergo a systematic border check when flying to and from airports in the United Kingdom and airports outside the EU and the Schengen area, such as Istanbul, Moscow, Tripoli and Tunis.”