The European Union has not come up with a new date for the start of the implementation of the Entry/Exit System yet, the eu-LISA has confirmed, which is the agency responsible for the operational management of the EES and other large-scale IT systems in the field of freedom, security and justice.
The press team at the eu-LISA have confirmed for SchengenVisaInfo.com that a date hasn’t been set yet for the operationalisation of the EES, in spite of some media reporting that the date has been postponed to 2024.
“eu-LISA is currently working on a revised planning approach for the implementation of the EES and the overall interoperability architecture, taking into account all possible foreseeable impacts,” the agency said in an email.
They also explained that while the newly proposed timeline will depend on the resolution of existing technical issues, the eu-LISA and the other involved EU authorities intend to achieve the earliest possible entry into service of the system while remaining realistic and achievable.
“At the moment, no date has been communicated for a possible entry in operation of EES,” they however noted in their response.
The EES was supposed to become effective in May, however, back in January this year, the eu-LISA had revealed that May 2023 was no longer achievable due to delays from the contractors. The agency was supposed to present a revised timeline for approval at the JHA Council held last March, yet, such a thing has not happened still.
The EES, which is one of the newly developed automated IT systems in the EU, will be keeping track of travellers entering and leaving the EU and Schengen Area, Ireland and Cyprus excluded. The same will also replace passport stamps, which will become digital.
Its delay has also affected the functionalisation of another important system, that of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).
The latter was supposed to become effective on November 2023, yet, due to the delay of the EES the ETIAS has also been postponed to the middle of 2024, though the exact date for it is still unknown too.
Earlier in March, commenting on the issue for SchengenVisaInfo.com, the EU Commission’s Spokesperson for Home Affairs, Anita Hipper, had confirmed that since the ETIAS is being developed closely with the EES, it cannot start operating before the EES.
“We expect that the IT system enabling the operation of ETIAS will be available in the course of 2023. The current expected date for ETIAS to be fully operational is 2024. The entry into operation of ETIAS can only take place 5 to 6 months after the entry into operation of the EES,” Hipper said.
It has previously been reported that the EES could be postponed even further in late 2024, after the Paris Olympics end on August 11, in the same year. If such a thing happens, then the ETIAS will be delayed even further, sometime by 2025.