Europol & Frontex Blame eu-LISA for ETIAS Travel Authorisation Delays

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The eu-LISA, which is the European Unionโ€™s Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, has been blamed for the continuous delay of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).

Two other agencies, Frontex and Europol, claim that the eu-LISA is the one responsible for the delays, reports sent to the Member States in October 2023, show, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Details from the reports have been revealed by Statewatch, a non-profit organisation that monitors civil liberties and other issues in the EU. The same claim the eu-LISA has been the reason behind the delays encountered at the time, when the ETIAS was postponed to mid-2025.

โ€ฆresides on the current lack of the Carrier and Traveller Support Tools due to the delays in their development by the eu-LISA, as well as the risk of not completing on time the sections of the ETIAS website related to the exercise of data subject rights and appeals due to missing input from some Member States for ETIAS. At this stage such risks do not yet appear critical.

Frontex report of October 30, 2023

At the same time, Frontex also blames the Member States for failing to meet some of their tasks related to the Frontex responsibilities, including here:

  • Not responding to requests for approval of templates containing the appeal process information, which will be needed in the future for travellers who wish to appeal against refusal, revocation or annullation of an ETIAS.
  • Responding late to requests of Frontex / not providing any input.
  • Some Member States are still on the process of developing the templates for the exercise of data subject rights.

The agency also points out in its report that the lack of publication of information like the ones listed above in the ETIAS public website would constitute a compliance issue.

The Europol report of the same date also directly blames the eu-LISA for the delayed development of the ETIAS Central System, which, as a result, has also hindered the work of Europol.

Various ETIAS Central System related developments and testing activities continue to be delayed until further notice by eu-LISA. The delays with respect to the ETIAS Central System are creating challenges for planning and resourcing the ETIAS project (and other EU interoperability projects) at Europol.

Europol report of October 30, 2023

Europolโ€™s key role in the ETIAS system will be to provide opinions to the Member States on applications that contain data matching stored in the agencyโ€™s databases.

While blaming the eu-LISA, Europol has admitted that it is facing yet another problem in relation to the ETIAA โ€“ the absence of sufficient staff. The report cites โ€œLack of resources for operational staff,โ€ as a major problem for it, in spite of 20 agents provided by Frontex.

The agency claims it needs another 38 full-time equivalent posts, in order to meet its legal obligation to provide an opinion on travel authorisation applications within 60 hours.

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