Magazine article European Social Policy

Justice and Home Affairs : Schengen Security: Commission Proposes an Agency

Magazine article European Social Policy

Justice and Home Affairs : Schengen Security: Commission Proposes an Agency

Article excerpt

The European Commission proposed, on 24 June, bringing together the various European systems for the exchange of security information within a single Community agency. According to the legislative proposal, the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) - which is behind schedule - would thus find itself with at least two other databases: the Visa Information System (VIS) and Eurodac, a system for the comparison of digital fingerprints for asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.

For the record, European interior ministers set an ultimatum for the Commission to complete the SIS II project by the end of 2011 at the latest. Failing this, the EU will have to make do with the current version, SIS I+, at the origin of the absence of border controls within the Schengen area (two European countries), adding to it the functioning parts of SIS II.

But the EU executive has already promised that the creation of an agency will be less costly than the development of three separate systems. "This situation does not allow us to make full use of the existing synergies between these systems. This results in high costs, less efficiency and duplication," explains the Commission in a communication. According to the EU executive, a management authority would, in the long term, make it possible to "assure the operational management of these bases and the continuous flow of data between the national authorities".

The future agency will have to guarantee to keep the systems functioning "24 hours a day, seven days a week". …

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