World Border Security Congress2018-04-26 08:02:33
EU plans to create a data base to enable EU countries to exchange non-EU citizens’ criminal records faster
The Civil Liberties Committee approved plans on Thursday to create a new centralised data base on third country nationals to complement the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), which EU countries already use to exchange information on previous convictions of EU citizens.
The ECRIS Third Country National (TCN) system, will:
- enable national authorities to establish quickly whether any EU member state holds criminal records on a non-EU citizen,
- contain data such as names, addresses, fingerprints and facial images (which, however, may only be used to confirm the identity of a non-EU national who has been identified based on other data), and comply with EU data security and data protection rules.
MEPs stressed that, in addition to judges and prosecutors, Europol, Eurojust and the future European Public Prosecutor's Office should also have access to the ECRIS-TCN system.
MEPs see this system an important cross-border crime fighting tool for European prosecutors, judges and police forces, who currently often rely solely on data available from their own national criminal record systems.
Rapporteur Daniel Dalton (ECR, UK) said: “The fast, reliable exchange of information is key in the fight against crime at all levels. This measure will close the loophole allowing third country nationals to hide their criminal records, while protecting peoples’ rights and information."
These negotiations, which can start as soon as Parliament as a whole gives its green light, will also include talks on a related directive for which Parliament has already given its negotiators a mandate.
ECRIS was put in place in 2012 to exchange information on criminal convictions in the EU. However, using the current system to check the criminal records of a non-EU citizen is cumbersome and inefficient. According to the European Commission, national authorities have used information available in other countries’ criminal records only in less than five percent of conviction cases of third country nationals, between 2010 and 2014.
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