Finland and the Baltics request fingerprint checks at EU borders

  • 2012-07-25

TALLINN - The interior ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland addressed the European Commission on Monday to draw attention to potential problems that may accompany a visa-free travel agreement between the EU and Russia, the Estonian national broadcasting corporation ERR reports referring to a press release from the Estonian Interior Ministry.

The countries asked that the commission produce a proposal for the entry-exit system.

One suggested procedure for border control is biometric identification i.e. fingerprint checking.

Estonian Interior Minister Ken-Marti Vaher said the main challenges with visa-free travel are a potential surge in illegal immigration, human trafficking and smuggling, which would increase the workload for border control.

The European Union and Russia have not yet discussed a potential visa-free agreement, but a plan of action to start such a discussion was agreed upon in last December. The plan listed reforms and security measures that need to take effect before discussion of a visa-free agreement can begin.