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E.U. plans biometric passports for foreigners


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That should speed things up


Non-Europeans
travelling to the E.U. will need to submit biometric data before crossing Europe's frontiers.

The move is part of a major shake-up of border management and will apply to all citizens of the United States and all other countries that now enjoy visa-free status. E.U. citizens and "low risk" frequent travellers from outside the bloc will be able to pass through automated, fast-track frontier checkpoints without coming into contact with border guards.

This would involve voluntary programs for pre-screening such visitors, who would register fingerprints and other data. The Commission, the E.U. Executive, argues that migratory pressure, organized crime and terrorism are obvious challenges to the Union and that the bloc's border and visa policy needs to be brought up to date.

It also wants a new European Border Surveillance System to be created, to use satellites and unmanned aircraft to help track the movements of suspected illegal immigrants.
Last modified on 13 February 2008
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