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22 Nov 2018

EU Council Adopts Proposal for a Stronger Schengen Information System

Schengen Information System - SISUpon the adoption of several bills for the strengthening of Schengen systems as well as the eu-LISA Agency, the European Council has now voted in favor of the strengthening of the Schengen Information System (SIS).

After the European Parliament approved the three draft regulations that will update the SIS, at the end of October, now the EU Council has given the green light to the proposal, in a bid to strengthen the fight against cross-border crime, terrorism and irregular migration.

The European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, welcomed the adoption, asserting that the Schengen Information System lies at the very heart of Schengen.

“The system is running 24/7, and once it becomes interoperable with our other migration and security systems, it will even more help border guards and police identify dangerous criminals and terrorists and prevent them from entering the Schengen area. Today, we take another step forward in effectively delivering on our citizens’ fundamental right to feel safe where they live, work and travel, delivering a Europe that protects,” he said.

At the same time, the EU Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King also applauded the move, highly assessing the role of SIS in the security of Europe.

“From preventing terror attacks to missing children, the SIS is the centerpiece of information exchange in the EU, with more than 200,000 criminals tracked down and 50,000 arrests made underlining its importance to cross-border security cooperation. I welcome today’s adoption of a strengthened mandate to make the SIS even more effective,” Commissioner King concluded.

The Schengen Information System is a large-scale centralized information system that supports checks at the external Schengen Borders. It also improves law enforcement and judicial cooperation between 30 countries throughout Europe.

Recently, the EU has been taking actions to strengthen the mandate of the eu-LISA agency, as well as the other systems, which help in the proper functioning of the European Union and the Schengen Area.

After the three draft regulations on the strengthening of the SIS come into force, the system will include the following upgrades:

  • the system will be able to issue alerts for unknown persons who are wanted in connection with a crime
  • national authorities will have to create SIS alerts in cases related to terrorist offences
  • the system will issue preventive alerts for children at risk of abduction (in particular parental abduction) as well as additional alerts on vulnerable persons at risk
  • it will be now compulsory to insert into SIS any entry bans issued to third-country nationals
  • more efficient use of fingerprints, palm prints and facial images to identify suspects

Now the President of the European Parliament and the Austrian Presidency of the Council will now need to co-sign the texts, which will be then published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Twenty days later, they will enter into force.

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