The national strategy for accession to the Schengen area for the period 2008 - 2011 of 25th November 2008
List of abbreviations
(1) Setting up the Schengen Area extended to 24 Member States, starting on 21 December 2007, represents a step forward towards freedom, security, and justice in Europe.
(2) Elimination of checks at E.U. internal borders is one of the greatest achievements of the European integration process. However, an area without internal borders, which extended from 7 countries in 1995 to 24 countries at the end of 2007, a moment that represents a unique historical achievement, cannot work without a distribution of responsibilities and without solidarity in the management of its external borders.
(3) Taking into account that the external borders of the European Union are crossed each year by over 300 million passengers, both citizens of the European Union and nationals of third countries, passengers' security is a key topic.
(4) Migratory pressure is an obvious challenge for the European Union and, consequently, for its policies on borders and visas. Therefore it is necessary to have an approach, which takes into account immigration policy as a whole, and an analysis from this point of view of horizontal issues which have direct impact on the European Union's capacity to manage its external borders.
(5) Although Member States still have in responsibility the control of their own borders, their efforts are supported by the common policy of the European Union, which should be developed and consolidated continuously, as response to new threats, variations in migratory pressure, as well as to any identified deficiencies.
(6) There should not be forgotten that Member States which have the responsibility of external border management are at the same time responsible for the security of the entire European Union. For this reason, the same treatment applied to the main security risks in any point of the external borders represents the concern of the European Community, not of one nation.
(7) Taking into account this perspective, it should be noted that the northern, southwestern and eastern borders of Romania are external borders of the European Union and Romania has a huge responsibility in terms of border security, given the fact that it is situated at the confluence of large migratory flows from former soviet republics, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
(8) During the last years, the European integration has represented the main objective of the Romanian Government.
(9) On 13 April 2005, Romania received the accession assent from the European Parliament and the Accession Treaty to the European Union was signed on 25 April 2005, in Luxembourg, being ratified by Romania through Law 157/2005. According to the established schedule, Romania joined the European Union on 1 January 2007.
(10) When becoming full rights member of the European Union on 1 January 2007, Romania entered into a new phase, which involves preparation and adoption of measures necessary for elimination of checks at the internal borders for the purpose of future accession to the Schengen Area.
(11) Romania has systematically prepared to join Schengen Area while carrying out activities directed towards integration in the European Union. Actions in this area have followed the course established by the Schengen Action Plan, a document annually reviewed and approved by the Romanian Government.
(12) The term undertaken by the Romanian authorities to achieve this desideratum is March 2011.
(13) In this context it is compulsory to establish some clear coordinates concerning the objectives and measures envisaged by our country to achieve this major objective.
(14) The National Strategy for Accession to the Schengen Area of the period 2008-2011, called hereinafter National Strategy, contains the action guidelines which are to be followed by the responsible authorities and institutions, in order to fulfill the specific measures and actions undertaken for accession to the Schengen Area, in the proposed calendar, the pursued strategic objectives and specific objectives, financial resources, legal implications, monitoring and evaluation procedures, identified risks as well as the consequences of the Schengen Area accession.
(15) Coordination and monitoring of actions undertaken to attain the objectives of the National Strategy is done by the Ministry of Administration and Interior through the Schengen Department, as responsible national authority, which ensures the fulfillment of the necessary conditions for Romania's accession to the Schengen Area.
(16) Evaluation and monitoring of the stage of fulfillment of the measures undertaken by authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the field in order to reach the target of accession to the Schengen Area, is carried out by the Schengen General Directorate of the Schengen Department within the Ministry of Administration and Interior.
(17) Regarding the National Strategy implementation period, the responsible authorities and institutions take into account the deadlines established in the Schengen Action Plan. According to their undertaken commitments, the implementation of technical, legislative and administrative measures necessary for fully implementing the Schengen acquis, will be completed by the end of 2010, except for Schengen visas issuance, use and connection of the National Information System for Alerts, hereinafter called SINS, to the Schengen Information System of the second generation, hereinafter called SIS II and abolition of checks at Schengen internal borders, which will be achieved only after the date of Romania's accession to the Schengen Area.
2.1. Institutional framework
(18) The institutions and authorities responsible for assuring the necessary conditions so that Romania becomes a Schengen full rights member are the following:
a) Ministry of Administration and of the Interior,
b) Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
c) Ministry of Economy and Finance,
d) Ministry of Transportation,
e) Ministry of Justice,
f) Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology,
g) Special Telecommunications Service,
h) National Supervisory Authority for Personal Data Processing.
(19) For the purpose of harmonization with the provisions of the Schengen acquis, the institutions and authorities involved in the process of accession to the Schengen Area shall initiate institutional and operational measures for a coherent and unitary implementation of Schengen requirements in the responsibility area of each institution involved.
2.2. Strategic documents
(20) In the context of negotiations on Chapter 24 - Justice and Home Affairs, the E.U. Member States requested from the candidate countries, including Romania, to present an action plan for fulfilling the preliminary criteria for accession to the Schengen Area.
(21) On 30 November 2001, the Romanian Government sent the Position Papers on Chapter 24 - Justice and Home Affairs to the Romania - E.U. Accession Conference; the document had as Annex the Schengen Action Plan. The position document presented the progress at that date and the measures envisaged to be adopted, as well as the Romanian position vis-à-vis the communitarian acquis in the following areas: external borders check and surveillance, visa policy, police cooperation, narcotics and psychotropic substances, judicial cooperation in criminal matters, extradition, firearms and ammunition, the Schengen Information System, hereinafter referred to as SIS, the protection of personal data.
(22) The aim of the Schengen Action Plan is to identify and prioritize the actions to be taken in order to fulfill the preconditions for the complete implementation of the Schengen acquis, according to the calendar for accession to the Schengen Area. The Schengen Action Plan is permanently monitored and annually updated, so that Romania meets the criteria for full implementation of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the governments of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the gradual abolition of checks at common borders, adopted in Schengen on 19 June 1990, hereinafter referred to as the Schengen Convention, as well as of other community legal acts that represent a development of the Schengen acquis.
(23) The Schengen Action Plan marks the clear distinction between the time of Romania's accession to the E.U. and the time of accession to the Schengen Area. Planning the implementation of the Schengen Convention and of other specific elements of the acquis is achieved by a two-stage approach, which covers both E.U. pre-accession and post-accession period and is carried out within the period prior to the abolition of checks at the internal borders, a moment when Romania will attain the Schengen membership.
(24) On a yearly basis, the Government receives a report on the progress of fulfilment of the commitments undertaken in the Schengen Action Plan.
(25) At the same time, for the purpose of improving the capacity of the Romanian state to gradually achieve a high level of control at the external border of the European Union, the National Strategy for Integrated State Border Management during 2007-2010 was adopted, hereinafter referred to as National Strategy for Integrated State Border Management, document approved by Government Decision No 324/2007. It mainly aims to establish policies, principles and objectives for the achievement of a common, coherent and effective management of Romanian borders in line with Community requirements.
(26) For the purpose of a unitary coordination of the actions and measures carried out by authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the area of the National Strategy for Integrated State Border Management to secure the state borders, the Romanian Inter-ministerial Group for the Integrated State Border Management was set up, hereinafter referred to as R.I.G.I.S.B.M., which is the advisory body assigned to determine and coordinate the actions and measures undertaken to secure the state border. R.I.G.I.S.B.M. pursues the achievement of the objectives of the National Strategy for Integrated State Border Management on the basis of two implementing documents: Action Plan and Multi-annual Single Plan for investments hereinafter referred to as the Single Plan.
(27) The Single Plan is the document which reflects, on the one hand, the investments which cover the needs of the border management and, on the other hand, investments entering the broader concept of integrated management.
(28) These programming documents are closely related and make up the work instruments of the Romanian Government in fulfilling the essential objective of joining the Schengen Area.
Purpose of the national strategy
(29) The purpose of the present document is to establish the general framework necessary for a unitary and coherent approach for the accession to the Schengen Area, as well as the conjunction of the efforts of all the authorities and institutions responsible in the field.
(30) Preparations for accession to the Schengen area are a set of measures to be adopted and implemented in a coordinated and scheduled manner by the authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the field, including through an efficient use of the resources available for this undertaking.
(31) National Strategy is based on the following general principles:
a) Principle of legality - the activities to achieve strategic objectives are conducted based on the law and in accordance with it.
b) Principle of responsibility - the responsibility of implementing the national strategy lies with each of the authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the Schengen field, according to their specific competences.
c) Principle of cooperation and coherence - authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the Schengen field cooperate in terms of maintaining their own functional identities in accordance with the legal framework, so as to ensure, simultaneously, a status of partnership and balanced relations on all the levels of the activity, a coherent and integrated concept on the matters and measures planned or employed, an appropriate coordination of efforts and activities carried out.
d) Principle of respecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms - all activities of authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the Schengen area are performed in compliance with the provisions of the international conventions and treaties on the human rights and fundamental freedoms, to which Romania is part of.
Action directions, strategic objectives and specific objectives
(32) The objectives of the National Strategy are set up through the action directions for fulfilling the measures and specific actions of institutions and authorities having certain responsibilities in the process of accession to the Schengen area.
(33) The accession to Schengen area involves not only the obligations concerning legal harmonization, but also the organization of the infrastructure, institutions and necessary procedures for an effective implementation of the Schengen acquis. Also, great efforts should be made in order to properly assure the necessary human resources and to train the personnel working in this field, in order to meet the Schengen requirements. In close connection with these obligations, strengthening the cooperation between Member States in fighting cross-border criminality appears to be a necessity with a major impact on the European Union's security effect.
(34) In this context, the main action directions identified in the process of Romanian's accession to Schengen area are the following:
a. Implementation of the Schengen acquis;
b. Development of infrastructure and of other necessary procedures for meeting the criteria of accession to the Schengen area;
c. Professional training.
Schengen aquis implementation
(35) Article 8 of the Protocol on the Schengen Acquis integrated into the Framework of The European Union, hereinafter referred to as the Schengen Protocol, foresees that all new member states have to accept the Schengen acquis entirely.
(36) Mention should be made that there are two categories of Schengen acquis provisions:
a. Provisions which are not linked to the abolition of checks at internal borders - Category I, pre-accession phase;
b. Provisions which are directly linked to the abolition of checks at internal borders - Category II, post-accession phase;
(37) As part of the European Union accession process, Romania fully accepted the Schengen acquis and did not request transition periods or derogations.
(38) At the same time, through the Treaty of accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the European Union, compulsory provisions of the Schengen acquis were established for Romania considering the two acquis categories. Thus, Article 4 of the Act on the conditions of accession of Republic of Bulgaria and Romania and the treaties adjustments which European Union is based upon, hereinafter referred to as Accession Act, attached to the Treaty concerning the accession of the Republic of Romania and Bulgaria to the European Union, provides for that:
"1. The provisions of the Schengen acquis integrated into the framework of the European Union through the protocol attached to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community (hereinafter referred to as "Schengen Protocol") and the acts building upon it or otherwise related to it, listed in Annex II, as well as any further such acts adopted before the date of accession, shall be binding on and applicable in Bulgaria and Romania from the date of accession.
2. Those provisions of the Schengen acquis as integrated into the framework of the European Union and the acts building upon it or otherwise related to it not referred to in paragraph 1, while binding on Bulgaria and Romania from the date of accession, shall only apply in each of those States pursuant to a European decision of the Council to that effect after verification in accordance with the applicable Schengen evaluation procedures that the necessary conditions for the application of all parts of the acquis concerned have been met in that State."
(39) Until March 2011, when it is estimated that the right to apply the entire provisions of the Schengen acquis will be recognized to it, Romania shall apply only the category I of Schengen acquis. This recognition will become official through the decision of European Union Council, which will be issued three months before the foreseen date of accession.
(40) The basic documents regarding the Schengen acquis adoption and implementation by the authorities and institutions with certain responsibilities in the field, made a clear-cut distinction between the date of Romania's accession to the European Union and the date of accession to Schengen area.
(41) The planning of the implementation process of the Schengen acquis provisions was achieved by a two-stage approach according to the Schengen acquis category I and II, respectively. Further on, the efforts of the authorities and institutions responsible in the field, from the perspective of the adoption and implementation of the Schengen acquis, will be focused on the same dual approach.
(42) Romania's preparation from the legislative point of view for the successful completion of the process of accession to Schengen area means the adoption of new national legal instruments and the amendment of those in force, so that they fully correspond to the European legal framework in Schengen areas like borders, visas, migration, asylum, police cooperation, judicial cooperation, drugs and psychotropic substances, firearms and ammunition, SIS and personal data protection. In case of communitarian instruments with direct application, namely the regulations, the Romanian authorities have to ensure the necessary legal framework for their application and for avoiding the legislative doubling. The best practices and recommendations catalogues for applying the Schengen procedures should also be taken into account by the authorities and institutions responsible in this field.
(43) European Union policy on crossing the external borders and on the definition of the Schengen area as an area without internal borders, which grants the free movement of individuals, implies the assurance of the necessary legal framework for fighting against illegal migration and trafficking in human beings as well as for preventing any other threat to public order and security of the Member States.
(44) Regarding the border field, the legal adjustments which should be promoted and supported by the responsible authorities and institutions in this field, envisage the abolition of checks at the future internal borders of the European Union, on one hand, and the security of the external borders according to the standards imposed on all Schengen Member States, on the other hand.
(45) Within the framework of the common visa policy, the legal measures focus on the complete harmonization of the national provisions with the Schengen policies and regulations and on the assurance of the legal framework necessary for the implementation of the national component of Visa Information System.
(46) The free movement of people within the Schengen Area implies adopting of such legal provisions to ensure the observance of the principles and procedures established in this matter by the Schengen Convention and by other E.U. legal documents, connected to it or building on it.
(47) Related to the free movement of people, the legal harmonization envisages the promotion of an efficient policy for the return of aliens, who do not fulfill or cannot anymore fulfill the conditions of the legal right to stay on the Romanian territory; this is very important in order to guarantee an efficient immigration management in the context of standard procedures, promoted at E.U. level in relation to the citizens` rights to an area of freedom, security and justice.
(48) In the field of asylum, in the Schengen context, Romania shall fulfill the commitments undertaken under the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, signed in Geneva, on the 28th of July 1951, enforced by Law No 46/1991. Thus, Romania has to ensure an adequate legal framework regulating the participation of our country in the Dublin mechanism for the identification of the MS responsible with analyzing the asylum requests and the use of EURODAC System within this mechanism.
(49) Also, regarding the maintenance on the MS territory of a high-level of security and justice, it is necessary that the Romanian authorities ensure the specific legal framework for the setting up and functioning of SINS, compatible to SIS II and for preparing Romania to get connected to the Central System SIS II, hereinafter referred to as the CS.SIS II. Consideration is also given to the modernization of IT systems within the institutions and structures, which have the right to update / check data in SINS.
(50) The legal harmonization shall ensure also the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially the right to be granted respect for the private and the family life, established both under Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and general principles of E.U. regulations. To this effect, the protection of persons relating to the processing of personal data is of great importance taking into account the informational work-flow with regard to different categories of persons, which is foreseen to be developed by means of specific IT systems.
(51) The main measure, which was introduced at the E.U. level to compensate for the security deficit, as the result of the abolition of border checks at the internal borders, is the strengthening of police and judicial co-operation. Thus, the development of the existing legal framework aims also at the harmonization of the necessary measures for applying the Schengen relevant procedures in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in judicial matters.
(52) From the same perspective, the communitarian standards and best practices related to Schengen in the field of firearms and ammunition, as well as those in the field of narcotics and psychotropic substances shall be taken over by the Romanian legislation and applied accordingly.
(53) The bilateral cooperation with the E.U. / Schengen Member States represents a permanent objective of Romania by assuring the judicial instruments and the operative procedures according to the standards of Schengen Member States. These must include provisions related to the information and experience exchange, to the way of realizing joint actions, to the involvement of liaison officers in solving different problems specific to fighting crime, including cross-border crime, as well as the conclusion of some cooperation protocols between authorities and institutions with competences in this field, within the limits of national jurisdiction.
a) setting up the legal framework in order to abolish checks at the future internal borders;
b) ensuring the legal framework in order to strengthen the check at the external borders, the surveillance of the external border area and the fight against cross-border crime;
c) further undertaking of the necessary steps for the conclusion of small traffic agreements with the neighbouring third countries;
d) assuring the legal framework for the complete harmonization of the national policy in the field of visa with the E.U. policy by the implementation of specific Schengen acquis provisions;
e) harmonization of the legal framework regarding aliens regime in order to meet the criteria of accession to the Schengen area;
f) developing the legal framework and the necessary procedures in order to remove the aliens, including by means of implementing the provisions of the readmission agreements;
g) developing the legal framework in order to implement the Schengen provisions in the field of asylum;
h) developing the legal framework and the necessary procedures in order to implement the Schengen provisions in the field of police cooperation;
i) developing good practices in the field of judicial cooperation in criminal matters;
j) providing the legal framework and the procedures necessary for the implementation of the Schengen provisions in the field of firearms and ammunition;
k) assuring the legal framework and the procedures necessary for the implementation of the Schengen provisions in the field of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and their precursors;
l) developing the legal framework which ensures SIS implementation in Romania;
m) harmonization of the legislation, the regulations and the national good practices with Schengen acquis in the field of protection of personal data;
n) developing the juridical instruments, including the standard operational procedures in order to strengthen the bilateral cooperation with E.U. / Schengen Member States, in matters specific for the internal attachés and liaison officers on migration related issues.
(54) Within the preparatory phase of Romania for the implementation of the necessary procedures for the abolition of checks at the future internal borders, it is necessary to take some appropriate measures regarding the personnel belonging to the structures which carry out surveillance and check activities on the Romanian internal border. These measures should be adjusted to the necessity of ensuring a secure area on the entire territory of Romania taking into account that the elimination of the internal borders does not imply the relinquishment of controls inside the national territory when performing the police duties. At the same time, the possibility to temporarily reintroduce checks at the internal border, when there is a serious threat against the public order and security, should also be taken into account.
(55) European Union Accession transformed Romania from a preponderant transit country into a country of destination or transit to other E.U. Member States, fact which has to be treated with maximum responsibility in order to ensure an efficient immigration management with an impact on the security of the entire Community area.
(56) In the capacity of E.U. Member State situated at the E.U. external border, Romania has competences on securing this border including through the issuance of national visas. In this context, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, as the main national authority competent in granting the right to entry the territory of the Member States, has the obligation to ensure an adequate institutional capacity for processing the visa applications in accordance with the Schengen standards.
(57) The specialized directorates of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must have the capacity to carry out activities of counselling and data exchange with similar institutions from other Schengen Member States, in accordance with the current practices of the Schengen states, especially by using the Visa Information System.
(58) The participation of Romania in the police and judicial cooperation mechanisms within Schengen context represents a priority for our country, which, by its accession to the Schengen area, will have an important task in fighting terrorism, cross-border crime and illegal migration on the E.U. external border.
(59) Of the same importance is the assurance of the institutional framework to allow the keeping of records of all operations with narcotic and psychotropic substances carried out by the authorized institutions and, at the same time, to ensure the necessary legal framework for performing the investigation and inquiry activities in this area for efficiently countering drug trafficking and other related crimes.
(60) In order to improve the cooperation activities and the procedures for countering cross-border crime and illegal migration it is necessary to develop an adequate institutional framework to ensure the implementation of national SIS, including the SIRENE cooperation mechanism. Thus, on the date when Romania becomes a Schengen Member State with full rights, SINS will deliver data to CS.SIS II, according to the Schengen requirements. To this effect, the measures aim at creating a structure designated to manage this information system at standards necessary to efficiently fulfil the Schengen acquis activities and in keeping with the E.U. best practices in the area.
(61) All these steps have to be related with an efficient management of human resources to ensure the recruitment of specialized personnel, but at the same time, the training of the existing personnel in order to exploit, monitor and maintain the N SIS II and the functioning of SIRENE mechanism at Schengen standards.
(62) Personal data protection represents a special subject for the activity of the specialized institutions with tasks in the area of supervision of the personal data processing, in the context of Schengen area accession. Guaranteeing and protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of physical entities, especially the right to private and family life, represents the objective of the national legal provisions on protection of individuals concerning the personal data processing.
(63) A special attention has been given to the institutional development of the National Supervisory Authority for Personal Data Processing, hereinafter referred to as N.S.A.P.D.P., as a public authority having judicial personality, autonomous and independent against any other public administration authorities. At the same time, this measure should ensure the necessary institutional framework for cooperation, on the national level with the structures responsible in this field, and on the international level, with similar structures from abroad.
(64) With a view to establish solid mechanisms to ensure an unique coordination platform at the level of the Ministry of Administration and Interior in the field of protection of personal data and to respond, at the same time, to the exigencies imposed by the evaluation missions, it arose the necessity to designate a personal data protection responsible at ministry level, under the direct subordination of the minister of administration and of the interior.
a. Redeployment of the personnel from the border crossing points located on the future internal border in the context of border checks abolition on this type of E.U. border;
b. Development of the institutional capacity of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Schengen context;
c. Development of the institutional capacity of the competent institutions in the field of police and judicial cooperation, in Schengen context;
d. Creation and development of the institutional capacity of the competent institution with responsibilities in managing the Central Register of Investigations and Research in the field of drugs and related crimes;
e. Setting up the SIS National Center and recruitment of the qualified personnel to ensure the utilisation, the monitoring and the maintenance of N.SIS II;
f. Institutional development of SIRENE Bureau, for the purpose of enabling an efficient exchange of data and information with other similar SIRENE bureaus from the Schengen Member States, and as well with the law enforcement agencies and with other competent authorities from Romania, according to the Schengen acquis standards and the best practices in the field;
g. Institutional development of the National Supervisory Authority for Personal Data Processing (N.S.A.P.D.P.) in order to conduct the activities of control and supervision in the field of personal data protection according to the Schengen standards.
Development of the infrastructure and procedures for complying with the criteria of the accession to the Schengen area
(65) Romania's geographical position at the E.U. external border and the major importance granted by E.U. to ensure an area of security for its citizens are the preconditions of a unitary and consistent approach to prepare our country for ensuring surveillance and control activities at the external border, at Schengen standards.
(66) In order to achieve this objective there will be considered measures to assure the fluidization of the traffic at the road crossing points at the internal borders in the context of their abolition, as well as the development / modernization of the infrastructure in ports and airports, at Schengen standards, including through an efficient separation of passenger flows in intra and extra Schengen lanes. These measures aim also to increase the naval, fluvial and terrestrial mobility, having a major impact on strengthening the capacity for the border surveillance and control activity, determining an increase of the efficiency in countering cross-border crime.
(67) Regarding the travel documents and the enter / stay authorizations there shall be adopted the necessary measures to assure the highest standards established at communitarian level. These aim to harmonize the current safety elements of the documents issued by Romanian authorities with those used by the Schengen Member States, also by including the biometric identification elements which offer a safer connection between these documents and their owners and, in the same time, a better protection against their illegal use.
(68) In the same time, at the level of all the national authorities with responsibilities in the field of immigration, there shall be assured the technical and administrative conditions necessary to comply with the Schengen legislation and procedures, including the creation and development of databases which will contribute to an efficient management of the immigration phenomenon.
(69) Within the context of applying the new Community procedures in the field of visa, the efforts of Romania shall focus on preparing the visa processing system and enhancing the security and communication capacity of its consular offices, in order to comply with the standards of the Visa Information System. The same measures of harmonization and compatibility from the technical point of view with the European IT systems have to be considered for the national components of DubliNet and EURODAC systems in order to ensure the participation of our country at the mechanism of establishing the responsible Member State for the examination of an asylum application submitted by a third-country national.
(70) The implementation of SIS in Romania will become effective by ensuring the optimum technical conditions for inter-connecting and assuring the data flow between the national component of SIS - N.SIS II (made up by SINS and the national copy of the central database of SIS II) and SIS II, by assuring at the same time the necessary level for passing the compatibility and operational tests with SIS II. This requires the establishment of adequate premises for the National Center SIS (where NSIS II will function) and its arrangement and equipment in order in keeping with Schengen standards.
(71) Within the framework of the efforts made for accomplishing the administrative and technical conditions for the implementation of N.SIS II and for the improvement of confidentiality, security and the level of trust of the data exchanged among the competent institutions / users, there shall be considered a unitary approach of all the national IT systems that will provide data for SIS, in order to ensure system compatibility.
(72) The functioning of N.SIS II compatible with SIS II will contribute to ensuring a high level of control at the external borders and of the internal security and will also ensure an intensified information exchange with Schengen Member States and CS.SIS, activity that implies an efficient countering of cross-border organized crime, terrorism, trafficking in stolen vehicles, drugs and fire arms, illegal migration, as well as of the risk of issuing visa for aliens whose entry is restricted on the territory of these states.
(73) Subsequent to the implementation of N.SIS II, Romania's efforts aim at making operational the SIRENE Bureau - a structure within the Ministry of Administration and Interior with responsibilities in the exchange of supplementary data and information related to N.SIS II alerts concerning persons or goods, as well as in the exchange of data and information regarding cross-border police cooperation; the efforts aim also at ensuring all technical and administrative conditions at the level of the national structures and institutions which will have access to N.SIS II, in order to fulfil their specific tasks according to the Community provisions and Schengen Member States best practices, including their supply with proper technical equipment.
(74) Romania's preparation for Schengen accession includes also the modernization of the equipments necessary for conducting the specific activities of countering the trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, as well as the modernization of the IT systems for the registration and management of data on the legal weapon owners and on operations with weapons and ammunition.
(75) As regards the observance of the Community norms on data protection regarding personal data processing, the Romanian authorities will take into consideration the ensuring, from a technical and administrative point of view, of the necessary conditions for the application of the Schengen acquis in the field and for the observance of human rights during specific procedures and activities.
a) Preparation for the implementation of the necessary measures with a view to abolish checks at internal borders;
b) Making operational the activities in ports and airports according to the requirements of the Schengen acquis;
c) Ensuring the technical-administrative conditions for putting into circulation the Schengen visa stickers and visa application forms of Schengen type;
d) Introducing biometric data in the travel documents and ensuring the technical-administrative conditions for putting into circulation the documents proving the residence according to the E.U. standards;
e) Strengthening the administrative capacity and modernizing Romanian consular missions abroad, as well as supplying the institutions with responsibilities in the field of immigration with the equipment necessary for performing specific activities, including the creation of adequate databases, in accordance with the relevant Schengen acquis;
f) Ensuring the technical-administrative conditions for the implementation of the national component of Visa Information System;
g) Ensuring the technical-administrative conditions for participating in the mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application submitted in one of the Member States by a third-country national, and also by making the DubliNet and EURODAC systems compatible;
h) Making operational the SIRENE Bureau and the structures with Schengen responsibilities in the field of police cooperation;
i) Modernization and development of the infrastructure for data management (communications and IT);
j) Ensuring specific operative equipment for the structures with competence in the field of countering trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and their precursors;
k) Making operational the IT system for processing of data on weapon registration, legal owners of weapons and on the operations with weapons and ammunition;
l) Ensuring the technical-administrative conditions for the implementation of N.SIS II and modernization of the other Schengen relevant IT systems, in order to assure their compatibility with the former;
m) Realizing a national copy of CS.SIS II and connecting the N.SIS II to CS.SIS II;
n) Ensuring the technical-administrative conditions for personal data processing within the relevant Schengen procedures and activities according to the Community legislation in the field of protection of persons regarding personal data processing.
(76) Within the framework of measures for preparing the accession to the Schengen area, one of the key conditions for a successful implementation of this process is represented by the resolution of different aspects related to ensuring the necessary human resources and an adequate professional training. Moreover, the recommendations and best practices at the European level recommend drafting and adopting a clear and integrated concept for training in the Schengen field.
(77) Considering that different authorities and institutions with competencies in the field are involved in the Schengen accession process at national level, the successful achievement of the proposed general objectives reflects the result of their joint action. This approach regards also the necessity of professional training of the personnel from the perspective of a unitary assimilation of the Schengen legal and procedural framework.
(78) Currently, the authorities and institutions with competencies in the field have their own professional training systems, but this resolves only partly the problem related to personnel training.
(79) The necessity of a joint effort, at national level, regarding personnel training, as well as the possibilities of the authorities and institutions involved in the activities related to Schengen area accession to operate jointly in order to achieve the assumed objectives imposed the setting up of an integrated system for professional training.
(80) In order to achieve this desideratum and taking into consideration the recommendations and the best practices at European level, the Schengen Self-evaluation National Commission, as an advisory body, without legal personality, set up by Government Decision No 882/2006, hereinafter called the National Commission, has approved The Integrated Concept for training the personnel of the institutions / structures involved in the accession of Romania to the Schengen area.
(81) The goal of The Integrated Concept for training the personnel of the institutions / structures involved in the accession of Romania to the Schengen area is to set up a general common framework for the initial and continuous training of the personnel working in Schengen area.
(82) The Integrated Concept for training the personnel of the institutions / structures involved in the accession of Romania to the Schengen area is based on the following principles:
a) Conceptual unity;
b) Decentralization of the training actions management;
c) the complementarity of the training actions;
d) Institutional partnership and mutual support in the field of initial and continuous training;
e) Responsibility of training the own personnel;
f) Continuity of the training activities;
g) A different specialization of training according to the responsibilities and the missions of the authorities involved in the field;
h) Functional independence in the training domain of the authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the field.
(83) The professional training in Schengen field is carried out on two coordinates:
a) The general training, which aims to set up the professional culture in the Schengen field through the dissemination at the level of institutions and authorities involved in the process of accession to the Schengen area of the main information in this field;
b) The special training, which aims at the acquisition of knowledge and skills of the personnel who directly fulfil tasks in the Schengen field.
(84) The personnel of the authorities and institutions involved in the process of accession to the Schengen area must have access to a common learning platform, in order to have knowledge about the content of the strategic documents regarding Schengen cooperation; subsequently the expertise in implementing the specific work procedures, the knowledge and the acquisition of the necessary skills is to be offered in detail to the specialists from the operative structures.
(85) The accession to the Schengen area also requires mid-level knowledge of foreign languages, and the personnel of the operative structures with tasks and responsibilities in the field must comply with the European standards in this respect.
(86) For the purpose of training all personnel categories, an e-learning system, which permits the reduction of the necessary resources in the training process (time, expenses, trainers) and a rapid update of the information, the integration of the study process into practice and focusing on the specific field of activity, will be also taken into account.
(87) The main domains for the Schengen training are those which make up the Schengen Acquis: borders, visas, immigration, asylum, police cooperation, judicial cooperation, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, firearms and ammunitions, Schengen Information System and personal data protection.
a) Knowledge on the content of the strategic documents regarding Schengen Cooperation;
b) Assuring the knowledge and the acquisition of necessary skills for developing the capacity of the personnel involved in the Schengen cooperation;
c) Disseminating the information regarding the Schengen Acquis;
d) Knowledge of the Schengen evaluation process,
e) Training the personnel for the application of the specific work procedures;
f) Assuring foreign language knowledge necessary to the fulfilment of the tasks in the Schengen field;
g) Assuring the knowledge and acquisition of the skills necessary for the operation of the technique designed to fulfil the responsibilities and missions in the Schengen field.
(88) In order to fulfil these specific objectives, by setting up a compatible training system to assure professional training for the personnel with Schengen competences, at national level, the authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the field will develop with the support of M.A.I., training models, adjusted to the their own learning necessities or to the necessities of the units under their subordination, as constituents of the training systems they own.
(89) In this context, the general objective of setting up of the Multifunctional Centre for Schengen Training within the Ministry of Administration and Interior is to establish an educational framework adequate to the training of the personnel directly involved in the Schengen field and related activities and to facilitate the implementation of the Schengen acquis components in the legislation and of the working procedures specific for this field, for the personnel of the operational structures.
(90) The project was designed starting from the necessity of a unitary training of the SIS users, and training the users regarding the management of documents and Schengen juridical norms.
(91) The purpose of the project is:
a) Training of the management personnel from the operative structures within the Ministry of Administration and Interior, regarding the cooperation IT systems belonging to the Schengen Acquis components and regarding cooperation with other international and national institutions involved;
b) Assuring the specialty training of the personnel directly involved in the operation, management and maintenance of N.SIS II;
c) Assuring multilateral training of personnel from different structures of Ministry of Administration and Interior involved in the accession process, as well as the knowledge of the procedures recognized in the Schengen area.
(92) In order to ensure the implementation of a high-performance professional training system, for the personnel with consular responsibilities, the Consular Training Center will be set up, the structure through which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will facilitate the access of its employees, prior to their appointment in a Romanian consular unit abroad, to a training programme according to the Schengen recommendations, by including the procedures related to consular assistance offered to our own citizens and to the citizens of the European Union. The general objective is to create a professional consular body, capable to meet the requirements imposed by the Schengen standards.
(93) The study curriculum of this center will be periodically updated, and the consular officers within the diplomatic missions will benefit annually from training programmes in the country, the purpose being the constant information and a unitary approach of the procedures in the field.
(94) The beneficiaries of the training carried out in the Consular Training Center will be the diplomats with consular responsibilities from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a total number of 250-300 persons annually. Also, the relevant personnel of the Romanian Immigration Office within the Ministry of Administration and Interior will be trained for matters related to visa issuance, as well as the personnel from the Visa National Center within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
(95) In order to fulfil the objectives of the National Strategy, it is necessary for the authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the area to plan their financial resources.
(96) Financing sources for implementation of the National Strategy may be:
a) National budget funds;
b) Community funds, within the projects of non-reimbursable financial assistance from European Union;
c) External credits granted by the Romanian Government;
d) Funds allocated through Schengen Facility
(97) Accession to Schengen area implies abolition of checks at internal borders, on the one hand, and strengthening the control at external borders, on the other hand. In order to abolish checks at internal borders, Romania has to secure the external border which falls within its responsibilities and to exploit in the best possible way the resources granted by the European Union in order to achieve this objective.
(98) Article 32 of the Accession Act, as an integrated part of the Treaty of Accession to the European Union, foresees that Romania as Member State benefits of financial support under the form of Schengen Facility and for cash flows.
(99) The Schengen Facility is a temporary instrument for financing the actions at the new European Union external borders for implementing the Schengen acquis and control of the external borders and it is defined according to Article 2 letter c. from Government Decision No 620/2007 regarding the utilization modus of the funds allocated by the European Union through the Schengen Facility and for cash flows.
The implementation of Schengen Facility financial instrument
(100) In this context, the Decision of the European Commission C (2007) 1417 of 4 April 2007, on the management and control of the part related to Schengen Acquis within Schengen Facility and for the cash flows for the period 2007 - 2009, was adopted and contains provisions referring to:
a) Eligible actions and costs;
b) Coordination and compatibility with communitarian policies;
c) The necessary documentation to be drawn up and submitted to the European Commission;
d) Monitoring and controlling framework in the field of reporting, contracting and payments;
e) Norms of good administrative practice and financial management.
(101) The financial resources granted to Romania through Schengen Facility and for cash flows represent non - reimbursable funds allocation from the European Union, and the total amount Romania will receive in the period 2007-2009 through the Ministry of Economy and Finances is of 559.8 millions of Euro.
(102) The amounts granted to Romania through Schengen Facility and for the cash flows are to be paid in yearly stages as follows:
a) 297.2 millions of Euro in 2007;
b) 131.8 millions of Euro in 2008;
c) 130.8 millions of Euro in 2009.
Through Government Decision No 620/2007 it was established that 70% of the total funds transferred from the European Union by means of this financial instrument will be granted for the Schengen Facility; the percentage may be changed through Government Decision, until 30 September 2009, without exceeding 78% of the total funds foreseen for Romania through the supporting instrument for the entire envisaged period.
(103) According to the Act of Accession, at least 50% of the above mentioned amounts are intended for financing the actions at the new European Union external borders, for the implementation of the Schengen Acquis and the strengthening of the controls at the external borders.
(104) The 12th part of every annual amount is to be paid to Romania and Bulgaria in the first working day of each month in the respective year. The global amounts shall be used within 3 years from the date of the first payment. Romania shall present, within maximum 6 month from the expiry date of this 3 year deadline, a comprehensive report on the final use of the global amounts based on the Schengen section of Schengen Facility, including a justifying report on the expenses. Any unused or unjustified spent funds shall be recovered by the European Commission.
(105) The projects, which will be financed through Schengen Facility, concern the technical and institutional modernization requisite for Romania's accession to the Schengen Area.
(106) For the proper management of these funds, the Government Decision No 895/2007 regarding the establishment of the legal framework for financial planning, coordination, implementation and audit of the use of funds granted to Romania through Schengen Facility was adopted, establishing the necessary institutional framework in this field.
(107) In order to implement the measures to be realized through the Schengen Facility, the Romanian authorities drafted the programmatic document called “Schengen Facility Indicative Programme 2007-2009”, hereinafter referred to as the Indicative Plan.
(108) An important part of this non-reimbursable funding will be used to set up the national component of SIS II, an essential aspect for Romania's accession to the Schengen area.
(109) In order to access SIS II and Visa Information System, it is necessary to further develop the systems designed to prepare the national database specific to Schengen cooperation and the related communications system.
(110) Also, the Indicative Plan assures among others the supplementary funding of the sub-systems of the Integrated Border Security System, as the main instrument for the implementation of the integrated management of Romanian state border. This system is part of complex systems - system of systems - and is made up of several autonomous inter-connected technological, operational, contextual and geographical sub-systems. Its achievement is a priority for Romania for the strengthening of its own borders, as well as of the European Union borders.
(111) In order to be eligible, the actions must derive entirely or primarily from the Schengen acquis, to have as an objective the future improvement and strengthening of the external border control and:
a) to be physically located at the external border, or
b) to be linked to the protection of the future external border, in cases in which the actions are not physically located at the external border.
(112) The eligible actions may include the creation of the IT systems necessary for the implementation of the Schengen acquis.
(113) Also, the following conditions are compulsory:
a) to submit the Indicative Plan to the European Commission, by the end of each spring. The National Commission and, later, the European Commission may approve or reject this Indicative Plan, in which case it has to be re-drafted;
b) to comply with the principles of responsibility separation, so that no risk of conflicting interests exists when purchasing and payments are made;
c) to provide some internal effective controls, including the independent audit function, as well as an effective accountancy and financial reporting system to respond the international approved standards;
d) to comply with the purchasing rules, according to the national regulations concerning purchasing;
e) to comply with the anti-fraud regulations and financial corrections mechanisms;
f) the interim report to the European Commission, accompanied by an annual management declaration of the Responsible Officer of the competent authority for coordination of the communitarian assistance through the Schengen Facility.
(114) In the framework of the system of management and control and according to the provisions of the Government Decision No 895/2007, with subsequent amendments and completions, the following institutions are designated:
a) Ministry of Administration and Interior, through the Schengen Department - the competent authority for coordinating the implementation of the community assistance through the Schengen Facility;
b) Ministry of Economy and Finances, through:
PHARE Payment and Contracting Unit - the contracting and payment authority for the financial assistance granted through the Schengen Facility;
Authority for Coordination of Structural Instruments - the evaluation authority for Schengen Facility;
c) Audit authority within the Court of Auditors - the audit authority for funds granted to Romania through Schengen Facility by European Union in the post accession period.
(115) In order to fulfil their tasks, the authorities involved in the management and implementation of the Schengen Facility may conclude inter-institutional cooperation agreements.
(116) The main beneficiaries of Schengen Facility are the Ministry of Administration and Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Special Telecommunications Service.
(117) At level of each beneficiary institution an intermediary body was created in order to coordinate the implementation of the measures of the Indicative Programme
a) Strengthening the control and surveillance at external borders and protection against crimes at the border crossing points;
b) Enhancement of control abilities by increasing the capacity for data storage and data access.
(118) Projects declared eligible, following the selection and evaluation process, shall serve to some major objectives, important as Romanian priorities, their fulfilment being meant to ensure the accession of our country to Schengen area according to the proposed calendar. These priorities are:
a) to ensure the information infrastructure which would allow the connection to the systems used by the Schengen member partners - information subsystem;
b) to ensure the logistic and professional training requisites within the institutions which play an important role in the control and surveillance activity at the level of Romanian external border, as well as in implementation of the Schengen acquis - logistic support and professional training subsystem.
(119) The total value of the projects which will be financed through the Schengen Facility amounts to 424,034,750 Euro, out of which 23,885,000 Euro represent the national contribution. The Ministry of Administration and Interior has proposed 13 projects, Special Telecommunications Service - 2 projects and Ministry of Foreign Affairs - 3 projects.
(120) The projects focus on the following general fields: extension of the SINS implementation at national level, endowment with TETRA standard terminals for digital radio communications of MAI structures, extension of the public key infrastructure at the level of sectorial information systems within the Ministry of Administration and Interior, extension of the voice-data integrated communications network, Schengen multifunctional training center, development of the national system for information on visas, strengthening of the naval and terrestrial mobility of the Romanian Border Police teams, modernization and adjustment of the real estate patrimony in order to correspond to the future requests of the surveillance and control at the external borders, modernization of the consular offices at Schengen standards and setting up the training center for the personnel with consular responsibilities.
(121) Considering the Schengen Facility financial instrument, Romania pursues the following:
a) strengthening the control at the future external borders, the surveillance and capabilities to fight against cross-border crime;
b) enhancement of control abilities by increasing the capacities for data provision and data access
c) integral use of allocated funds by identifying the eligible actions.
(122) In what regards the professional training, the authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the Schengen area shall foresee in their budgets the financial resources necessary to organize the activities of initial and continuous professional training of the personnel and to ensure the participation of the personnel to the training programmes organized by cooperation in the country or abroad.
(123) The legislative measures necessary for implementation of the National Strategy are provided for in the Schengen Action Plan; this document is reviewed on a yearly basis and has a structure that follows the model recommended by the European Commission. Thus, each section makes reference to the relevant Schengen acquis, it describes the current situation, as well as the legislative, institutional, administrative and the technical measures foreseen for the adoption and implementation of the relevant acquis, the deadlines for the envisaged measures and the institutions responsible with their implementation.
(124) Also, the permanent supervision and, depending on the case, the development of the legal framework and the necessary procedures for utilization of the financial resources granted by community financial instruments, has to be achieved through the establishment of new systems and mechanisms for supervision, implementation, audit and financial control.
Evaluating and monitoring procedures
Implementation of the National Strategy
(125) The Schengen area accession cannot be completed successfully without setting up appropriate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
(126) In supporting this idea, the Schengen Department has been created, to ensure the coordination and monitoring of all activities linked to the Schengen acquis implementation and the fulfilment of the Schengen accession criteria.
(127) Within this Department, the Schengen General Directorate assures the Secretariat of the National Committee, which coordinates all specific activities, fulfilled by the authorities and institutions with responsibilities in this area and at the same time manages the relations between them. The National Committee monitors and evaluates also the way in which the objectives and actions included in the programmatic area documents are accomplished, and oversees the efficient and unitary application of the regulations in the field.
(128) In the same context, the Schengen General Directorate carries out, through its responsible structure, the tasks of a Single Contact Point with the role of data and information transmission to the authorities involved in the management and implementation of the Schengen Facility financial instrument and the national and European institutions, as well as the particular tasks of the technical Secretariat of R.I.G.I.S.B.M. (The Romanian Interministerial Group for the Integrated State Border Management).
(129) The Schengen Action Plan is the main instrument which ensures the implementation and monitoring of the National Strategy, a programmatic document related to the National Strategy for State Border Integrated Management, to which all policies and action directions of Romania are subordinated for the successful accession at the assumed term.
The process of Schengen evaluation
(130) Romania applies in the process of pre-accession to the Schengen area the first category of provisions from the European Union accession date. The implementation and monitoring of the first category provisions belongs to the preparation process for the European Union accession.
(131) The implementation and application of the provisions from the second category implies the fulfilment of all legislative, operative and technical prerequisites, particularly the requisites concerning SIS II (Schengen Informatic System) access, Schengen visas clearance and the elimination of internal border checks. Romania must make allowance in this context for the references and best practices from the Schengen Catalogues, as well as for the best practices underlined during the Schengen evaluations carried out in the Schengen Member States.
(132) The Schengen evaluation process consists in controlling the fulfilment of all necessary conditions for the complete implementation of Schengen acquis. This implies that Romania proves its capacity for fulfilling the Schengen acquis requirements in a uniform, accurate, coherent, consistent and effective manner. The Schengen Evaluation lies with the Schengen Evaluation Working Group within the European Union Council.
(133) For each Member State, the evaluation process begins with a Declaration of Readiness announcing the fields and the moment when it is ready to start welcoming the Schengen evaluation visits. As regards Romania, a Declaration of Readiness was presented within the Schengen Evaluation Working Group on 28th of June 2007. This document announced the availability to receive European assessors in the fields of visas, police cooperation and personal data protection, starting with the second half of the year 2008. Regarding border controls and Schengen Information System, Romania presented on the 2nd of June 2008, a second Declaration of Readiness for the planned evaluation visits.
(134) The second stage of the evaluation process implies filling out of an extended questionnaire, remitted to Romania by the European Union Council. It contains detailed questions on all relevant aspects for the implementation and application of the second category of provisions of the Schengen acquis. The answers to this questionnaire will be closely examined by the European Union Council, European Committee and the other Schengen Member States, for the purpose of assessing Romania's capacity for implementing the second category provisions of the Schengen acquis.
(135) The third stage starts when sufficient information have been gathered and consists in performing field evaluation visits made by experts of the European Union Council, European Committee and of Member States.
(136) The areas evaluated during the Schengen evaluation process are the following:
a) Air, sea and land borders
b) Police cooperation
d) Personal data protection
e) Schengen Information System
(137) After completing these visits, the fourth stage follows with a report analysing Romania's preparation stage of implementing the second category provisions of the Schengen acquis. This report may contain recommendations for correcting or improving the less satisfying aspects. After a period of time, additional visits may also be made to after a certain time to check the remedy of the possible negative aspects.
(138) The last stage refers to the final report of the Schengen Evaluation Group, which will be presented to the European Union Council. The Council will adopt the necessary decision to authorize the abolition of checks at the internal borders of Romania, fact that will imply the application of the second category Schengen acquis provisions at a date it considers appropriate.
(139) In order to prepare the evaluation process of Romania and accustom the structures involved in this activity, the Schengen General Directorate organizes self-evaluation missions. These are organized according to the Schengen evaluation missions, which took place in other Schengen Member States.
(140) Within these missions, the level of preparation of the institutions involved for the fulfilment of the standards in this matter is analyzed.
Monitoring of professional training
(141) In what regards the professional training of the personnel within the institutions and authorities with responsibilities in Schengen field, in order to monitor the way the requirements of the integrated Conception are fulfilled and to ensure its implementation from a technical point of view, the Working Group on Concept Implementation was set up under the subordination of the National Committee.
(142) The Working Group referred to at point 141 is made up by a representative of each of the authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the field, normally from the structures with tasks of personnel professional training and / or European / Schengen affairs. The Presidency and Secretariat of the Working Group is assured by the central structure, competent in the field of human resource management, within the Ministry of Administration and Interior.
(143) On basis of the proposals of the authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the field, the Working Group on Concept Implementation draws up yearly until the 1st of November the National Joint Preparation Diagram, document which is submitted for approval within the first annual meeting of the National Committee. This document will comprise activities fulfilled in cooperation and those with international participation, which are addressed to all authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the field or to the majority of them.
(144) The identified risks for the fulfilment of measures established by the National Strategy, refers mainly to the possible unavailability of funds to finance the investments at the foreseen deadlines. A potential risk is also the non-observance of the deadlines and the non-syncronization of the ongoing projects, in the view of accomplishing the measures included in the Schengen Action Plan.
(145) The insufficient cooperation between the institutions participating in the implementation of the National Strategy is another risk factor which must be taken into account by the authorities and institutions with responsibilities in the field.
The consequences of the Schengen area accession
(146) The Schengen area adhesion requires the control elimination between the internal borders of Schengen member states, which entirely apply the acquis Schengen, being created a single external border, where controls are carried out according to a clear set of rules in matter of visas, immigration, asylum, as well as to measures concerning police, judiciary and customs cooperation.
(147) Citizens belonging to member states, may cross internal borders without restrictions. Although, the right of the member states to impose the need of owning a valid identification document is not affected. The crossing of internal borders may be compared with a journey inside the country lines.
(148) From order or national security reasons, the Schengen internal borders controls may be reinstated for a limited period of time with the preliminary notification of the European Committee and of other Schengen member states.
(149) Considering that the elimination of border controls can lead to the increase of internal security risks for the countries involved, a compressed transborder cooperation among all contracting states is required, with the sole purpose to protect their citizens.This cooperation is mainly facilitated by creating inter-institutional cooperation mechanisms among police, customs authority and border police (within Centres,Offices, Joint contact points) and by using SIS.
(150) Mutual operative assistance and direct information trade between police forces, and other qualified authorities belonging to member states, as well as the transborder surveillance and tracking of offenders, represent means of combat terrorism, organized crime, trafficking in human beings and illegal immigration.
(151) Apart from benefits resulted, the elimination of the internal border control may have a negative impact on the member state's security. For preventing such difficulties, Schengen states establish a set of compensatory measures which devolve from the Schengen acquis application.
(152) These compensatory measures of the Schengen Convention stand for the European cooperation progress in the fields of police, justice and foreign citizens regime.
(153) The Schengen Convention compensatory measures can be classified as follows:
a) persons movement (visas and consular cooperation)
b) police cooperation:
i) mutual police support in juridical assistance field
ii) exchange of liaison officers among police authorities
iii) cross-border cooperation at internal borders, particularly by setting up cooperation mechanisms among police authorities, customs, border police of all contracting states
iv) cross-border surveillance and pursuit police missions
c) juridical cooperation of the Schengen Member States
(154) The most significant compensatory measure is the establishment of an European common system for police cross-border pursuit, i.e. S.I.S. All Member States introduce data into the system, directly from the national databases.
(155) Another compensatory measure refers to personal data protection, which represents the natural person's right of protection of the characteristics which lead to his / her identification an the state's correlative obligation to adopt adequate measures to ensure an efficient protection, starting from the fact that a large amount of information on personal data is exchanged between Member States.
(156) The extension of the Schengen area will have significant consequences for the states with external borders, having to adopt more restrictive policies regarding visas system. The implementation of these policies may lead to the increase in the number of people who try to enter the national territory without holding a valid visa or by using false documents.
(157) As a result of reinforcement of the external European Union borders, the countries neighbouring the E.U. may become a destination for illegal trafficking with immigrants from Africa and Asia.