Ecorys supports European Commission proposal to update the Visa Information System| Security and Justice, Economic Growth
Ecorys, in collaboration with Fraunhofer and the Free University of Amsterdam, carried out a study on behalf of DG Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission to assess the feasibility, necessity and proportionality of lowering the fingerprinting age for children in the visa procedure and on storing a copy of the travel document of the visa applicants in the Visa Information System (VIS). The results of the study informed the Commission impact assessment accompanying the Commission’s proposal to uprgrade the VIS to in order to better respond to evolving security and migratory challenges and improve the EU's external border management.
What is the VIS?
The Visa Information System (VIS) is the database containing information on non-EU nationals applying for short-stay Schengen visas. It helps visa, border, asylum and migration authorities to rapidly and effectively check the necessary information on third-country nationals who need a visa to travel to the EU, connecting border guards at the EU’s external borders with Member States’ consulates around the world. The system performs biometric matching, primarily of fingerprints, for identification and verification purposes.
Context of the study
A REFIT evaluation of the VIS was carried out in 2016 and led to a number of recommendations to improve the functioning of the system. The evaluation identified several issues requiring further analysis of the possible solutions that would address them and their impacts, including:
These challenges provided the basis for the study carried out by the Ecorys study team. The study assessed the feasibility, necessity and proportionality of alternative options for:
The results of the Ecorys study informed the Commission’s impact assessment accompanying the proposal to amend the VIS Regulation.
Upgrade of the VIS
In May 2018, the Commission announced its proposal to upgrade the VIS following the preferred options as identified in the Ecorys-led feasibility study. The upgrade will enhance internal security and improve border management through the following measures: