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Liberals call for fingerprint checks on frontier of Schengen zone

The Dutch Liberal Party (VVD) has set out plans to take fingerprints from everyone entering the Schengen zone, including EU citizens, in its manifesto for next year’s European elections.

Mark Rutte's party wants tighter border controls on the edge of the Schengen zone as an anti-fraud measure.The party of prime minister Mark Rutte argues there is a need for a “conclusive and simple European border registry system with fingerprints… so that it is clear who is coming in and leaving, when and under what name.”

The plan is in keeping with previous efforts by the VVD to extend the use of fingerprint technology to tackle a range of issues from fraud to human trafficking.


Last month justice minister Ivo Opstelten signalled his determination to push through plans to store foreign nationals’ fingerprints on a central database.

Critics say the scale of the problem is impossible to quantify because no central records of fraud are kept and the government has declined to commission research.

The Netherlands was among the first countries to introduce biometric passports, which include a record of the holder’s fingerprints.

Subsequent research has questioned the reliability of the technology, which failed to match fingerprints in more than 20 per cent of tests.

A study commissioned by the interior ministry concluded last year that the measure had been rushed through before the technical problems could be considered.

The VVD’s ambitions to tighten up border controls also reflect the centre-right party’s growing Eurosceptic tendency.

Its slogan for next year’s elections is “Europe where necessary”, with more autonomy for national governments and a slimmed-down European bureaucracy focused on delivering economic growth.

The VVD wants Brussels to stop interfering in areas such as pensions, though it favours stronger regulation of banks and financial institutions at European level.

The party has also called for countries that fail to comply with the EU’s budget deficit rules to be expelled from the union.

Source: NRC: VVD wil vingerafdruk van bezoekers Europese Unie