STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Two-Tier 'Privileged Flyer' Program Advances in EU: Non-Approved Unable to Fly?
By Staff News & Analysis - March 01, 2013

'Smart borders': enhancing mobility and security … The EU is moving towards a more modern and efficient border management by using state-of-the-art technology. Today, the Commission proposed a 'smart border package' to speed-up, facilitate and reinforce border check procedures for foreigners travelling to the EU. The package consists of a Registered Traveller Programme (RTP) and an Entry/Exit System (EES) that will simplify life for frequent third country travellers at the Schengen external borders and enhance EU border security. – European Commission Press Release

Dominant Social Theme: "I'm from the EU and I'm here to help."

Free-Market Analysis: As we have mentioned numerous times, the ultimate goal of the current security regime seems to be to create a two-tier travel system in which some people – with government approved credentials – will be able to travel with relative ease while others will not.

We have in various articles catalogued US programs that allow one to be "pre-approved" and thus avoid the long lines of those who are yet, apparently, to be considered potential terrorists. Eventually, such system will turn into something more difficult, of course – as the emphasis shifts from the approved to the non-approved.

In other words, eventually those who are not approved to travel may have trouble taking advantage of modern travel conveniences such as planes, trains, buses and eventually automobiles.

This is the logical outcome of the kind of regulatory state that is now being constructed using the war on terror as a pretext. It is apparently a prelude to global (centralized) governance and must be instituted since most people don't want to live in a single world construct and therefore need to be herded – forcefully – in that direction. Travel restrictions are a useful tool.

If such a scenario is to be realized, it must be effective not just in the US but throughout the West and perhaps worldwide. Now in a press released, we are informed the EU is taking steps to harmonize its travel program with the US's and other powers.

For now, of course, it's pitched as a convenience. Here's a further excerpt from the press release:

"The use of new technologies will enable smoother and speedier border crossing for third country citizens who want to come to the EU. Our aim is to facilitate the access of foreign travellers to the EU. This will not only be in the interest of the travellers but also the European economy. It has been estimated that in 2011 alone foreign travellers made a €271 billion contribution to our economy. Modernising our systems will also lead to a higher level of security by preventing irregular border crossings and detecting those who overstay', said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.

Regulation on an EU Registered Traveller Programme (RTP)

1. A Registered Traveller Programme (RTP) will allow frequent travellers from third countries to enter the EU using simplified border checks, subject to pre-screening and vetting. It is estimated that 5 million legitimate non EU-travellers per year will make use of this new program. The RTP will make use of automated border control systems (i.e. automated gates) at major border crossing points such as airports that make use of this modern technology. As a result, border checks of Registered Travellers would be much faster than nowadays.

2. Business travellers, workers on short term contracts, researchers and students, third country nationals with close family ties to EU citizens or living in regions bordering the EU are all likely to cross the borders several times a year. Making it as easy as possible for them to come to the EU would ensure that Europe remains an attractive destination and help boosting economic activity and job creation.

Regulation on an EU Entry/Exit system

1. An Entry/Exit System (EES) will record the time and place of entry and exit of third country nationals travelling to the EU. The system will calculate the length of the authorised short stay in an electronic way, replacing the current manual system, and issue an alert to national authorities when there is no exit record by the expiry time. In this way, the system will also be of assistance in addressing the issue of people overstaying their short term visa.

2. The current practice used by Member States when checking a third country national wanting to cross the EU's external borders is based mainly on the stamps in the travel document. This practice is time consuming, does not provide reliable data on border crossings does not allow detecting overstaying in a workable way and cannot efficiently cope with cases of loss or destruction of the travelling documents. Moreover, today's systems will not allow the EU Member States to deal with the ever increasing pressure of travellers accessing and exiting the EU whose number, at the air borders alone, is expected to increase by 80%, from 400 million in 2009 to 720 million in 2030.

If there is anything encouraging in this release it is the timeline. We are informed that implementation of this program is years away and may only be viable in 2017 or 2018. First there must be "Negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council" and adoptions of the legal texts.

After Thoughts

Is a kind of cage being constructed? It might seem so …

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