27.8.2008 - Switzerland gained access to the Schengen Information System on 14 August
On 14 August 2008, relevant Swiss authorities gained access to data of the Schengen Information System (SIS), the most important common database of Schengen states which contains data (alerts) on persons and objects which are necessary for the purpose of maintaining the Schengen territory an area of security and justice.
Access of Switzerland to the SIS proves that the entry of Switzerland into the Schengen area is approaching. This event is however preconditioned by a successful conclusion of the evaluation process which started in March 2008 and which has been under way since then. Switzerland aims at joining Schengen by the end of this year.
Launching of the SIS in Switzerland on 14 August means that since this date, Swiss authorities (mainly police and customs) have access to all SIS data. Since the same date, they are able to enter data into the SIS from relevant Swiss databases.
Until the date of the lifting of checks at internal borders with the Switzerland (thus until the day of its entry into the Schengen area - similarly to the Czech Republic preconditioned by a EU Council Decision), however, Switzerland shall not be obliged to refuse entry to its territory to or to expel nationals of third states for whom an SIS alert has been issued by a Schengen state for the purpose of refusing entry. At the same time, it shall refrain from entering the data on inadmissible persons from its national databases into the SIS.
The use of the SIS by Swiss authorities in practice will be verified during a special evaluation mission due in September 2008.