Cyprus Passed Data Protection Assessment for Schengen Ascension

Cyprus Passed Data Protection Assessment for Schengen Ascension

Cyprus Passed Data Protection Assessment for Schengen Ascension

Cyprus Meets Schengen Requirements for Personal Data Protection

Last year, Cyprus announced that it has formally started the process of joining the Schengen area in September 2020. The Republic of Cyprus has been in the EU since 2004 and the eurozone since 2008. As EU members, countries are encouraged to apply for membership to Schengen and Cyprus is no different. 

If they are able to satisfy the technological and security criteria necessary they will subsequently be admitted into the travel zone, granting their citizens frictionless international travel in mainland Europe.

Cypriot Commission for Personal Data Protection has announced the country met Schengen requirements in regards to data protection, taking the island country one step closer to Schengen ascension.

Cyprus Passed Data Protection Assessment For Schengen Ascension

View from Paphos Sea Walk
Cyprus passed their data protection assessment for Schengen ascension

Following this positive development, this paves the way for evaluations in other sectors with the ultimate aim being Cyprus’ full membership in the Schengen area.

In late November, after Cyprus applied for Schengen Membership, EU experts assessed the offices of the Personal Data Protection Committee in order to learn whether they can adequately supervise systems and procedures that the Public authorities need to correctly and thoroughly implement the Schengen acquis.

In practice, joining the Schengen zone implies stricter control of the European Union’s external borders and the abolition of restrictions while moving from one Schengen state to another.

Accession to the Schengen will have significant benefits, both for Cypriot citizens who can move without passport control within the Schengen area, as well as for the country’s security, economy, tourism, and many other areas. Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Christodoulides, explaining the importance of the Data Protection evaluation.

Cyprus applied for Schengen Membership in September 2019.

The personal data protection assessment was the first of several excepted to take place as Cyprus’s application for Schengen Membership is evaluated.

The government has submitted the application for security reasons.

 Minister Christodoulides And we are now expecting the European Union to come and start its evaluation process which is divided into five parts.

Conditions for joining the Schengen Area

Joining the Schengen Area is not just a political decision.

Countries must also fulfil a list of pre-conditions, such as be prepared and have the capacity to:

  • take responsibility for controlling the external borders on behalf of the other Schengen States and for issuing uniform Schengen visas
  • efficiently cooperate with law enforcement agencies in other Schengen States in order to maintain a high level of security once border controls between Schengen countries are abolished
  • apply the common set of Schengen rules (the so-called “Schengen acquis”), such as controls of land, sea and air borders (airports), issuing of visas, police cooperation and protection of personal data
  • connect to and use the SIS (Schengen Information System).
Joining the Schengen Area is not just a political decision.

Applicant countries undergo a “Schengen evaluation” before joining the Schengen Area and periodically thereafter to ensure the correct application of the legislation.

Further into 2020, the EU will carry out a series of assessments (the “Schengen Evaluation) in the areas of border management, the return of illegal immigrants, visa issuance, the Schengen IT systems, police and judicial cooperation.

Cyprus is one of few EU States that have not yet joined the Schengen Area, along with Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria.

Despite already being members of the European Union.

The other country not part of the Schengen countries is Ireland, which made its own decision not to join, which is the result of the common travel area (CTA) with the UK, which allows British and Irish citizens to move between the two states with ease.

Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria have already completed their five-part assessment and are only waiting for admission.

The Schengen zone of the European Union is a 26 country partnership wherein each member state allows passport-free movement of people within the borders of the travel area as opposed to requiring immigration checks on entry to each individual country.

if Cyprus becomes a member of the travel zone, the citizens will be able to benefit from the freedom of movement within the Schengen area.

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