Every year more than 700 million EU citizens and non-EU nationals are crossing the EU's external borders. Enabling smooth and fast border crossing for travellers, while ensuring an adequate level of security, is a challenge for many EU States. The 'Smart Borders' Communication adopted today by the European Commission sets out the main options for developing specific systems taking advantage of new technologies. Before presenting any legislative proposals, the Commission wants to make sure that there is a common understanding and commitment. The future 'Smart Borders' initiative should consist of:
The possible development of these systems needs to be discussed in light of their added value, technological and data protection implications and costs. The Commission would then present legislative proposals in the course of 2012.