Mandatory ID checks on Schengen flights from next year: Dutch Justice Minister

A Marechaussee border agent checks a passport at Schiphol (photo: Marechaussee)A Marechaussee border agent checks a passport at Schiphol (photo: Marechaussee)

From next year, identity checks will be mandatory on all flights within the Schengen area, Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice said, according to BNR. Earlier this week, the broadcaster reported that at least 10 airlines don't do ID checks when passenger check-in on a flight within the Schengen area, making it easy for criminals and terrorists to fly around Europe anonymously.

"At this stage, the idea of Schengen is that you can travel freely without a passport, even with a plane", Blok said. But this will have to change in the short term, he added, according to BNR. The free movement of goods and persons, which is regulated by the Schengen Treaty, will be adapted. "Because it is abused, we agreed with the European Union to do something about it next year."

Exactly how the identity checks will be implemented, is still being discussed. "The result is that air travelers will soon be checked one hundred percent", Blok said.

According to the Justice Minister, the Tweede Kamer resisted implementing this identity check for a long time. "Initially the sentiment was that we did not want a register of holidaymakers", he said to the broadcaster. But after the various attacks in Europe, the parliamentarians agreed that something must be done.