Experts from the European Commission and supervisory authorities of EU Member States will visit Cyprus next week (November 24-29), to assess the Office of the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection within the framework of the Republic’s application for accession to the Schengen area.
Commissioner Irene Loizidou Nikolaidou said the experts will evaluate her Office to determine whether it is an exercise adequate supervision over systems and procedures that Public Authorities have or must have in order to 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,” she stated.
Assessment of the personal data protection officer is the first to be carried out and will be followed by others in 2020 in the areas of border management, returns, visas, the Schengen IT system, Police and judicial cooperation and weapons.
These areas will be evaluated provided that South Cyprus receives a positive assessment in the field of personal data.
Since July when South Cyprus applied for Schengen membership, the Office of the Commissioner has been working with the Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Justice and with the Police to better prepare for the forthcoming evaluation so as to successfully meet the challenges,Loizidou Nikolaidou concluded.