EU Ministers Discuss Recording Personal Data of All Visitors to Bloc

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EU Ministers Discuss Recording Personal Data of All Visitors to Bloc

EU justice ministers meeting over the weekend examined proposals that would require all visitors to the EU to have their personal details recorded upon entry to the 27-nation bloc, euobserver.com reports.

The informal meeting, held in Slovenia, the current holder of the EU presidency, on Friday and Saturday, discussed obtaining finger prints, biometric and personal data from non-EU visitors to cut down on the risk of terrorists entering the Union.

According to French daily Liberation, the project, spearheaded by EU justice commissioner Franco Frattini, aims to file the data of all those entering the EU by land, air or sea.

The information would be stored in a European database and modeled on the US system.

His words come just weeks after the EU extended its borderless internal zone to cover a further nine member states.

The commissioner indicated that the database would allow authorities to know the date of entry of a person and whether they stayed or left.

"We cannot tolerate that people who arrive legally enter into illegality," said the commissioner, according to Liberation.

Mr Frattini is expected to unveil concrete proposals to his national counterparts at a formal meeting next month.

Meanwhile, the same meeting saw member states unable to agree on common EU rules for divorces between couples coming from two different member states.

At the moment, divorce rules vary widely across the bloc from flexible rules in Nordic countries to Malta, where divorce is banned.

The European Commission has been seeking to set up rules to determine which country should have jurisdiction when a couple from different countries divorce. There are some 170,000 such cases each year.

However, Sweden blocked the proposal, fearing its liberal laws would be undermined.

"In Sweden, we always apply Swedish law on divorce," the country's justice minister, Beatrice Ask, said, according to the Reuters news agency.

Malta, Ireland and the Netherlands also raised concerns about the proposal at the meeting, Reuters reports.

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