Borders and visas
Access to Europe in a globalised world
The establishment of Frontex in 2004 marked an important step in the development of common management of external borders. Alongside it, the Visa Code has come into force and the Visa Information System is being gradually implemented. It is in this context that the Stockholm programme is endeavouring to reconcile making borders secure and facilitating flows.
■ Integrated management of the external borders
The Union must continue to facilitate legal access to the territory of its Member States while in parallel taking measures to counteract illegal immigration and cross-border crime and maintaining a high level of security.
The Stockholm programme is endeavouring to reconcile making borders secure and facilitating flows.
It is essential that the activities of Frontex and of the European Asylum Support Office are coordinated when it comes to the reception of migrants at the Union's external borders, particularly as regards identifying mixed flows. The Stockholm programme thus initiated a debate on the long-term development of Frontex and the feasibility of the creation of a European system of border guards.
In order to optimise border control, the introduction of the second-generation Schengen Information System and the deployment of the Visa Information System remain priorities. Furthermore, the gradual development of the European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur) at the southern and eastern borders will continue. Eurosur is designed to put in place a system using modern technologies and promoting interoperability and uniform border surveillance standards.
■ Visa policy
The EU and the Member States will be able to take advantage of these developments in order to intensify regional consular cooperation.
Visa policy is part of a broader vision that takes account of relevant internal and external policy concerns. The EU and the Member States will be able to take advantage of these developments in order to intensify regional consular cooperation by means of programmes which could include, in particular, the establishment of common visa application centres.
The EU will keep the list of third countries whose nationals are or are not subject to a visa requirement under regular review in accordance with appropriate criteria relating, for example, to illegal immigration, public policy and security, which take account of the Union's internal and foreign policy objectives. The EU will also guarantee respect for the principle of reciprocity as regards the visa requirement.