The document, published in the Official Gazette advances that this investment will be about 2.5 million euros, plus the value of VAT, with 75% being financed by the Fund for Internal Security.

The ordinance authorises the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), or the entity that will succeed it, to assume the budgetary costs related to the execution of the contract for the acquisition, installation, technical assistance and maintenance of biometric data collection equipment at manual border control posts up to a maximum amount of 2.5 million euros.

The Government justifies this investment with the strategic guidelines adopted by the European Council, which underlines "the urgency of an effective management of the common external borders of the European Union, possible through, among others, a new phase of the 'Smart Borders' initiative, aimed at facilitating the passage of the vast majority of travellers coming from third countries and, at the same time, strengthen the fight against irregular migration by establishing a register of all transnational movements of citizens, fully respecting the principle of proportionality".

According to the ordinance, signed by the Secretaries of State for Civil Protection, Patrícia Gaspar, and for the Budget, Sofia Batalha, the European Commission has proposed the creation of an extravasation system (EES), which aims to collect the identity and biometric data of third-country citizens, travellers with mandatory visas and visa-exempt, who cross the external border of the Schengen area.

"Considering that the SEF, in conjunction with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is responsible for the implementation and integration of the EES System, it is intended to proceed with the acquisition and installation of biometric data collection equipment at manual border control posts, under the Smart Borders Project, 75% financed by the Internal Security Fund, including three years of technical assistance and maintenance, in order to comply with the various regulations of the European Parliament and the Council," the ordinance said.