Schengen border control
The Schengen agreement was signed on 14 June 1985 between the Benelux countries, Germany and France for the purpose of gradually abolishing checks on the borders of these countries. On 19 June 1990, the convention on implementation of the Schengen agreement was signed by the governments of Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. As a result of the Schengen Agreement and Convention, these countries reinforced control of the external borders of the visa area and also increased international cooperation in the fields of law enforcement, police and border guard operations. One of the principles pervading the Schengen is the freedom of movement of individuals. As a result, no border checks take place on the internal Schengen borders – border checks only take place on the external borders of the Schengen area.
One measure for achieving the goals set out in the Schengen Agreement and Convention is the Schengen Information System (SIS). The information system contributes to ensuring public order, security and free movement of individuals in Schengen. In Estonia, the PBGB is responsible for the domestic part of SIS. Data is also entered into the SIS through the PBGB, as required by the statute on maintaining the national SIS register. In addition, each Schengen member state has a data protection authority charged with verifying that entry of data into SIS and use of the data in SIS would not violate the rights of persons. In Estonia, the corresponding data protection authority is the Data Protection Inspectorate.
Regardless of which citizenship they hold, persons have the right to inspect data concerning themselves entered into SIS. In Estonia, persons may examine data concerning themselves and entered into the information system by submitting an application with the PBGB (email: email@example.com) or the Data Protection Inspectorate (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Persons also have the right to apply to the above-mentioned authorities for correction or deletion of incorrect data concerning themselves and entered into the information system.
To examine data entered into the Schengen information system, or correction or deletion of data, a signed request must be submitted. The request must specify the person’s name, date of birth and citizenship, and a copy of the person’s identity document must be appended.
In addition, the following must be specified in the request:
- authority that entered data concerning the individual into SIS
- all relevant aspects regarding the data in question (category of data, information on where and how the owner learned of the data in SIS)
- which data the applicant is seeking to be deleted or corrected (if this is the content of the request)
A sample application form can be found here.
For additional information on Schengen, and catalogues of recommendations on proper application of the Schengen acquis and best practices as well as legal acts and contacts, visit the Data Protection Inspectorate website.