EU to start checks at external borders

The EU said these new systematic checks were in response to the Paris attacks in November 2015

Europeans will face systematic checks at the external borders of the EU's Schengen border area from Friday under legislation designed to tackle "foreign fighters" returning from Iraq and Syria.

"Member States will as of tomorrow have an obligation to carry out systematic checks against relevant databases at the external borders, also on EU citizens," a European Commission spokeswoman said Thursday.

This is "in order to verify that persons crossing the borders do not represent a threat to public order and internal security."

The EU said it was "in response to the attacks in Paris in November 2015 and the growing threat from foreign terrorist fighters."

The EU first proposed the measures after the November 2015 Paris attacks and the 28 member states adopted them on March 7.