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EC decided: no need for more databases for law enforcement

19 December, 2012

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Deutsch: Europäische Kommission: Keine weiteren EU-weiten Datenbanken für Str...

On 7 December 2012, the European Commission issued a communication regarding information exchanges within EU, concluding that no new law enforcement databases were needed presently.

This communication comes as a result of the Stockholm Programme invitation for the Commission to assess the necessity of a European Information Exchange Model based on an evaluation of existing instruments, and it is based on the "Overview of information management in the area of freedom, security and justice" issued by the Commission in 2010. Basically, the document concludes that information exchange generally works well within the EU and therefore there is no need for more EU law enforcement databases. The communication also states that EU instruments should, however, be better implemented, that the exchange of information should be organised more consistently, that high data quality should be provided and data protection rules should be observed.

"Improving cross-border information exchange is not an end in itself. The purpose is to tackle crime more effectively and reduce harm to victims and to the EU economy. The measures in place generally work well, and there is no need for new law enforcement databases. But there is scope for improvement. In particular, legislation that has been agreed must be fully implemented and used more consistently, by all Member States", said Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström.

The Commission examined a number of EU-wide information exchange instruments mixing however EU systems such as Europol and the Schengen Information System (SIS) with projects at the level of member states which are not yet adopted at the European level, such as the Prüm Decision or the European Border Surveillance System EUROSUR. The question now is what happens with the initiatives and databases that are currently under discussion, such as Eurodac - the database of fingerprints of asylum seekers under debate now in the Parliament and Council, EU-PNR - the proposed system of EU- data gathering, profiling, and retention of all air passengers entering or leaving Europe, or Smart Borders - a legislative package which would collect data about all travellers entering and leaving the EU (including fingerprints) allowing pre-checked and profiled traveller to enter EU more easily.

EC Press Release - Assessment of law enforcement tools: no new databases needed at EU level (07.12.2012)

Communication - Strengthening law enforcement cooperation in the EU: the European Information Exchange Model (EIXM) (7.12.2012)

EU Commission: No new law enforcement databases needed (9.12.2012)

Communication: Overview of information management in the area of freedom, security and justice (20.07.2010)



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