EC decided: no need for more databases for law enforcement

By EDRi · December 19, 2012

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Deutsch: [Europäische Kommission: Keine weiteren EU-weiten Datenbanken für Strafverfolger |]

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)