Preparations for the new border management system of the European Union – the Entry Exit System (EES) – are underway in France, as its authorities have placed an order of a total of 544 new kiosks and 250 tablets, which will be installed at the country’s borders in the near future.
“The kiosks have been tested in Paris and are being reworked for improvements. But we will be ready, especially as we are sure now EES will start after the Olympics, even perhaps at the start of 2025,” the delegate of the Union of French Airports, Nicolas Paulissen, has told the Connexion France.
The EES is a new security system for the management of external borders of the EU, initiated back in 2017. Through the same, the EU intends to become a safer territory, by collecting biometric information of those entering and leaving its territory, as well as precenting from entering those posing any type of threat to its security.
Back in March 2021, France had selected Thales, a French multinational company that designs, develops and manufactures electrical systems, devices and equipment for transportation and security sectors, for delivering hundreds of pre-registration kiosks at various of its border crossing points.
According to the same, the process for registering at its kiosks will take less than one minute.
“In less than one minute, third-country nationals will thus be pre-registered and have their identity verified at Thales kiosks deployed at French airports, train stations and ports,” the company claims.
However, a newly released report by French public finance watchdog Cour des Comptes has raised concerns that waiting times at the borders between the United Kingdom and France could double or even triple once the new Entry/Exit System is launched.
“Even though the average check time has increased since Brexit for Eurostar, doubling or even tripling waiting time could drive some travellers to opt for a plane,” the report reads.
While France has already ordered the kiosks it needs to implement the EES, many of the Schengen countries remain behind in this regard, though they claim that they are “in line” with the other Member States.
So far, Lithuania is the only country to have completed all preparations needed for the launch of the Entry/Exit System at its borders. The country has selected Easier and Idemia for equipping with over 70 self-service such kiosks and more than 30 automated border crossing lanes at its border crossing.
Iceland and Denmark have also chosen IDEMIA to equip them with the needed kiosks for the implementation of the EES.