Starting tomorrow, July 25, Cyprus will join the Schengen Information System (SIS) that has been built to ensure safe passage as well as freedom of movement of those who have the right to move freely within the EU’s Schengen Area.
The decision is expected to facilitate further cooperation between security authorities, such as police, customs, or other service immigration.
Joining the SiS will also help Cyprus o in the fight against both national and cross-border crime.
The director of the Cyprus SIRENE (Supplementary Information Requested at the National Entries) bureau, Dora Nikandrou, said that “there is no doubt” that the interconnection of the country with the SIS will help the majorly in the fight against crime at national and European level.
She stressed that the trafficking of people, goods, and services are now done seamlessly through enormous facilities, adding that the SIS is a counterbalance to the dangers inherent in free movement related to crime after speed and immediacy of information make criminals’ work more difficult.
Cyprus endorsed its application for membership in the Schengen Area in September 2019, and it expects to become part of the visa-free zone in the near future. At present, the Schengen evaluation process in order to assess the readiness to become part of the bloc is ongoing for Cyprus.
In December last year, authorities in Cyprus urged the EU countries to grant them access to the Schengen Information System. The request came during the meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the EU.
“The Minister emphasized the importance it will have for Cyprus as well as the Member States in terms of strengthening public security, carrying out more effective border controls, police cooperation, and return procedures, the expected within 2023, providing access to the Cypriots Principles in the Schengen Information Exchange System,” the statement noted.
Cyprus has been successfully assessed in five out of six Schengen areas, including protection of personal data, police cooperation with other Schengen Zones states, external borders, returns, as well as visas and consulates.
The Schengen Information System is used to enter alerts regarding objects or people in the Schengen Zone. Such alerts can be related to anything from missing people or lost documents to those who have been victims of human trafficking or possible suspects in other crimes.
In addition, the SIS helps to detect people who attempt to reach Schengen Zone countries in an unlawful way.