On July 25, Cyprus will join the Schengen information system

Cyprus remained the only European Union country not connected to the Schengen Information System (SIS II). However, on July 25, Cyprus will gain full access to it. It’s important to note that this does not mean Cyprus will become a full member of the Schengen Agreement, and passport control for arrivals from EU countries will not be lifted. But what exactly is SIS II?

SIS II is an information system designed to enhance border security and law enforcement cooperation among the Schengen Zone countries. It contains information about:

  1. Individuals who are banned from entering or staying within the Schengen Zone.
  2. Missing persons cases.
  3. Persons for whom Europol has issued arrest warrants.
  4. Third-country nationals who have been deported or are subject to deportation from the EU.
  5. Stolen or lost documents.

Upon gaining access to SIS II, employees of the Cypriot police, customs, road transport department, maritime department, and civil aviation department will be able to use the system. Dora Christodoulou-Nikandrou, head of Cyprus’s SIRENE National Police Bureau, explained in an interview with Phileleftheros that joining the system will help enhance security in the country and better combat crime and illegal immigration.

For instance, a Cypriot investigator will be able to input data on a suspect involved in a criminal case, for whom an arrest warrant has been issued, and within minutes, law enforcement officers and passport control personnel across all Schengen countries will have access to this information. If the wanted suspect attempts to pass through passport control, they will be arrested.

SIS II will also aid in identifying individuals who need to be served court summonses. If such a person goes through passport control, they will be required to provide their residential address, where the legal notice will be sent.

Before fully integrating into the Schengen Zone, the Republic of Cyprus must fulfill all recommendations that were presented during the assessment of its readiness. The final decision will be made by the Council of Ministers of EU member states.

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