Magazine article European Social Policy

Schengen Information System : No One Responsible for Delays

Magazine article European Social Policy

Schengen Information System : No One Responsible for Delays

Article excerpt

The European Parliament debated on 23 October three reports, with over 200 compromise amendments, presented by Carlos Coelho (EPP-ED, Portugal). The reports, one consultation and two co-decision reports, examine the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) II as well as access to SIS II by member state vehicle registration services. The vote will be held on 25 October.

Despite the delays in expanding the Schengen zone' to include new member states, the Parliament, the Commission and the Council have all continued to stress the importance of a rapid agreement so as not to further hold up progress on lifting internal border controls for new EU citizens. "Citizens from the new member states should have the same rights of freedom of movement as citizens from the old member states. That's why we need a quick decision," said rapporteur Coelho.

The compromise now reached with the Presidency and the European Commission is a good result for Parliament, according to the rapporteur (see Europolitics 3165). Coelho stressed the legal review of SIS II, higher data protection standards and the stronger supervisory role for Parliament contained in the new draft. The most important new element is an EU-funded Management Authority for the SIS II central database to be monitored by the European Data Protection Supervisor. The latter would also help national supervisory authorities audit member state personal data processing.

Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini repeated that SIS II remains a top priority. …

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