Schengen Information System Marks 25 Years

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Schengen Information System (SIS), the most widely used and largest information sharing system for security and border management in Europe. It is one of the largest IT systems managed by eu-LISA, aimed at making Europe safer.

Launched in 1995, as a tool for seven EU Member States, to support internal security and exchange of information between national police forces as well as border, customs, visa and judicial authorities, the system has expanded and had its functionalities continually improved to assist the national authorities of 30 European countries in sharing information with their European counterparts whilst performing border checks and confronting cross-border crime and terrorism.

eu-LISA, responsible for the operational management and further development of SIS, has focused on improving and modernising the system for the past eight years, the period for which the Agency has so far been accountable for the IT systems for EU justice and home affairs.

“Free movement of people is one of fundamental achievements of the European Union. eu-LISA is an indispensable element of the Schengen architecture as, with its services and systems, it ensures the normal functioning of the Schengen area, supporting with technologies the efforts of Member States to make Europe stronger and safer. Today, eu-LISA holds even broader responsibilities having been tasked to deploy the new information architecture of the EU for border management and internal security. However, digitalization is not a potion that can magically increase operational efficiency. It does not stem from the amount of money spent on novelties either, nor the excellence of the technical solutions implemented. It comes from the capability to make the best use of these technologies and the trust of citizens in the efforts of the national and European authorities towards a safer and more secure Europe,” emphasised Krum GARKOV the Executive Director of eu-LISA.