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EC to evaluate Schengen acquis application in Finland

26 May 2018, 02:17 ( 26 May, 2018) | updated: 26 May 2018, 10:44 ( 26 May, 2018)

DF Report
Finland-Sweden border. File Photo Finnish Police.

The European Commission will carry out a Schengen evaluation in Finland between May and June 2018.

The evaluation teams coordinated by the Commission will visit Finnish authorities and evaluate whether the Schengen acquis is being applied correctly in all of its areas, said an official press release.

“It is important that all Schengen States implement the common external border management policy and visa policy. For this reason, we welcome the regular Schengen evaluations,” said Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen.

Evaluations are carried out once every five years. This time they will cover all areas of the Schengen acquis — external borders, the Schengen Information System (SISII/SIRENE), police cooperation, returns, visa policy and data protection.

The Commission has, in collaboration with the Finnish liaison officers, selected the sites to be included in the evaluation.

In addition, the evaluation teams may carry out unannounced visits to sites that they have chosen themselves.

Each evaluation team has a maximum of two Commission experts and a maximum of eight Member State experts as well as one or two observers.

The observers will make an evaluation report of the possible deficiencies, after which the Member State in question must take immediate action to remedy the weaknesses listed in the report.

Currently, the Schengen area covers 26 European countries without travel restrictions or border controls between them. The area was named after the Schengen Agreement.

Finland and the other Nordic countries began applying the Schengen acquis on 25 March 2001. The countries which have signed the Schengen Agreement have adopted a common external border management policy and a common visa policy, resulting in an area which can be considered to function as a single state.