Cyprus Set to Join the Schengen Information System (SIS) in July of 2023
Cyprus will be joining the Schengen Information System on July 25th, 2023 after having been positively assessed and following decades of efforts.
As Charis Philippides, Director of the EU and International Police Cooperation Directorate explained, this will mean that the authorities will be in a better position to identify and prevent risks to the security of Cypriot citizens in a timely manner.
The Schengen Information System is a key compensatory measure for the abolition of internal border checks. The SIS therefore continues to play a crucial role in facilitating the free movement of people within the Schengen area. SIS is a large database shared between Member States to maintain public security, support police and judicial co-operation and manage external border control. SIS contains extensive information on persons and objects, including personal data.
SIS allows competent national authorities to issue and consult alerts on persons who may have been involved in a serious crime or may not have the right to enter or stay in the EU. It also contains alerts on missing persons – in particular children – as well as information on certain property, such as banknotes, cars, vans, firearms, and identity documents, that may have been stolen, misappropriated or lost.
As a reaction to new security challenges, a new version of the Schengen Information System started operating on March 7th 2023. The new version of the SIS was designed to make the Schengen area even more secure, and to provide Member States with further effective means of cooperation. One of the improvements that the recast version of SIS brings are new categories of alerts that can be entered into the system. These new categories include alerts related to vulnerable persons, and alerts related to children who are in danger of being kidnapped. These new alerts therefore serve as a means of protecting children from getting kidnapped and taken away to third countries.
In order to help Member States in their fight against illegal immigration, the recast version of the SIS also introduces new alerts on the return of illegally staying third-country nationals, and it also brings improved tools to better identify non-EU nationals.
The SIS legal framework consists primarily of three EU Regulations:
- Regulation (EU) 2018/1860 of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 28th 2018 on the use of the Schengen Information System for the return of illegally staying third country nationals;
- Regulation (EU) 2018/1861 of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 28th 2018 on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of border checks, and amending the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement, and amending and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1987/2006;
- Regulation (EU) 2018/1861 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 November 2018 on the establishment, operation, and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, amending and repealing Council Decision 2007/533/JHA, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1986/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Decision 2010/261/EU.
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