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Border security Government seeks tightening preventive travel rules

Passengers and border guard at airport Basel Mulhouse

Switzerland has been a member of the Schengen area since 2008 and regularly has to adapt its laws on border security .


The Swiss government has unveiled plans to adapt legislation on border security in line with the other countries of the Schengen group.

The reforms include Switzerland joining a European electronic travel authorisation systemexternal link to prevent people considered security risks from entering the single border area which includes 26 states, mainly from the European Union.

The government also proposes amending Swiss law to continue participation in the Schengen Information Systemexternal link, Europe’s most widely used information sharing for security and border management, notably following the terrorist attacks in several European cities in 2015.

The justice ministry said all member countries must participate in the information exchange to track people wanted in relation to terrorism and other serious crimes, as well as missing persons and stolen vehicles and firearms.

A third accord allows Switzerland to take part in an EU agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems (eu-LISAexternal link).

The government proposals, which will result in additional costs of about CHF32 million ($32 million) until 2020, will be sent to consultation among political parties, cantons and institutions before parliament makes a final decision.

Switzerland formally joined the Schengen group of countries in 2008 following a nationwide vote in 2005.

Efforts to harmonise Swiss laws with international accords, notably with the EU, regularly sparks controversy in the Alpine nation. In May, Swiss voters will have the final say on proposed gun law reforms.

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