Feeds

EU ministers back centralisation of population databases

Just the one agency dear

Boost IT visibility and business value

A single agency will be in charge of three EU population-tracking databases under plans approved by EU ministers.

The Council of Ministers have backed the creation of a centralised European agency that will manage the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Visa Information System (VIS) and the European Dactyloscopy (EURODAC), the Council said.

The SIS allows countries to share information about people, such as whether there is a request for extradition out against them, or whether they are suspected of committing serious crimes. The database also contains information on lost or stolen goods, such as vehicles, firearms or identity papers. An upgraded version of the database is expected in 2013 which will contain new types of data and will be managed by the new agency if it is given final approval.

The VIS database aims to help countries prevent criminals from fraudulently using visas belonging to others. It stores biometric data related to visa applications, such as finger prints, and allows law enforcement agencies to check the identity of visa holders.

EURODAC is an automated system used by all EU countries to record and compare the fingerprints of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.

The Council said that a "decisive political agreement" had been reached to back plans for a new agency to be set up by the summer of 2012 to manage the three databases. A proposed regulation drawn up by the European Parliament to establish the new agency receives Ministers' support, the Council said in a statement.

"The presidency is now in a position to confirm to the European Parliament that, should the Parliament adopt its position at first reading in the exact form as set out in the compromise text, the Council will approve the Parliament's position in a future meeting," the Council statement said.

The new agency should ensure that EU countries have access to the databases at all times, observe a high level of data protection and make sure that the information stored is secure, the draft regulation provides.

If established, the agency could become responsible for more EU databases, the Council said.

"The agency will also be responsible for the management of any other IT systems which might be developed in the area of freedom, security and justice in the future," the Council statement said.

The new agency, which has yet to be named, will be based in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, although some functions relating to the agency's development and day-to-day management will be carried out in Strasbourg in France, the Council said. A back-up site will exist in Sankt Johann im Pongau, Austria, it said.

Plans for a centralised agency to control EU databases were first announced in 2009 by the European Commission. The Commission, the Parliament, the Council of Ministers and individual countries have since argued over the contents of the regulation needed to legally establish the organisation.

See:

* The Council of Ministers' statement (page 7 of 38-page / 176KB PDF)

* The draft regulation for establishing a new European database management agency (43-page /268KB PDF)

Copyright © 2011, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.