In a reply sent to Lusa, the office of the secretary general of the Internal Security System (SSI), national coordinator for the “Schengen assessment” in the country, stated that the team of European experts arrived in Portugal on 13 November and began their evaluations on 14 November.

According to the office of Paulo Viseu Pinheiro, the evaluations can focus on “all aspects of the Schengen acquis, including the effective and efficient implementation by the Member States of the accompanying measures in the areas of external borders, visa policy, the system of Schengen information, data protection, police cooperation, judicial cooperation in criminal matters, as well as the absence of control at internal borders”.

The visit of the experts to Portugal is scheduled to end in March 2023.

Paulo Viseu Pinheiro’s office also stated that the Government has created a temporary structure called the “task force for the Schengen evaluation of Portugal 2022” with the mandate to support the Secretary-General of the Internal Security System, as a national coordinating entity for the evaluation.

According to the SSI, this “task force” has the function of ensuring “the strategic and operational coordination of the preparation and follow-up of the evaluation”.

The last assessment of Portugal took place in 2017.