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Minister: EU needs US-style entry database

Published: 01 Feb 2013 11:34 GMT+01:00

"Those coming from a country exempted from visa requirements would then register online and say who they are and what they want in the EU," the minister told Chemnitz-based Freie Presse regional paper on Friday.

Friedrich added that Germany was a popular "destination for criminals and terrorists." An online register of "personal data," he said, would "make it more difficult to come to Germany undiscovered." This could also include biometric data such as fingerprints or photos, he suggested.

At the same time, the minister wanted to clarify that travel should be made easier for business travellers from more countries, in reference to requests by Russia and Turkey for exemption from EU visa requirements for their citizens.

"A relaxation or even a complete exemption from visa requirements is associated with a loss of control that must be compensated in some other way - for example with the kind of immigration system that the US has in place," Friedrich told the paper.

Travellers to the US who do not require a visa, for example those from EU countries, must register their passport details and the purpose of their visit online with Department of Homeland Security before travelling.

A similar system could be set up in the EU, said Friedrich: "Only under these circumstances could there be moves to relax some of the visa requirements."

Open borders in Europe are good for all citizens, he added, but "we need a greater awareness of the fact that we need to secure our borders."

DPA/DAPD/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

20:41 February 1, 2013 by Englishted
"where is the horse "

Oh to late it has bolted.
21:35 February 1, 2013 by mitanni
I see, following the usual European trajectory: first heaping abuse on the US for doing something, then about a decade later quietly adopting it.
23:54 February 1, 2013 by Mark S.
It's sounds a bit strange to say "you do not require a visa -- all you need to do is register in advance for permission to visit".
09:50 February 2, 2013 by ovalle3.14
Is it election time already?
10:06 February 2, 2013 by Steve1949
Well, America's system hasn't been working all that well. Over 12 million illegals and counting. Is Merkel also going to offer the illegals a pathway to citizenship as well? It's even easier in the EU to sneak into since there are no border checks.
14:32 February 2, 2013 by raandy
steve, the illegals did not fly in they crawled or rode in.

The main reason for the biometric data helps if they commit a crime while in country,also for the over stays.It is not a perfect system , there is no such thing but better than no system like here in the EU.
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