European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee position on recast Eurodac Regulation
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New rules governing the EU's Eurodac biometric database are one step closer to being adopted following the approval by the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) of its position on the recast Regulation.
The recast Regulation will extend the scope of the database from holding the fingerprints of asylum-seekers to the inclusion of biometric data on irregular migrants. Facial images are also to be included in preparation for the future use of facial recognition systems.
The LIBE position controversially includes approval for the fingeprinting and photographing of children as young as six (the previous age limit was 14). Once the Member States sitting within the Council of the EU agree their position on the proposed Regulation, secret "trilogue" discussions will begin between the institutions.
LIBE committee position as approved on 30 May:
REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of 'Eurodac' for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of [Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person], for identifying an illegally staying third-country national or stateless person and on requests for the comparison with Eurodac data by Member States' law enforcement authorities and Europol for law enforcement purposes (recast) (pdf)
EU: EP approves fingerprinting asylum seekers from age 6 (ANSAMed, link)
"The Civil Liberties Commission of the European Parliament on Tuesday [30 May 2017] approved fingerprinting asylum seekers as young as six in order to facilitate reunification with their parents. Under current EU law asylum seekers can be fingerprinted only from the age of 14. The measure was part of a package of amendments to an overhaul of the Eurodac fingerprint database, which were approved with 35 yes votes, 10 no votes and 8 abstentions. The MEPs also greenlighted the start of negotiations with the European Council in view of a definitive agreement. Under the changes, detention of minors should be prohibited. In addition, unaccompanied minors who disappear from reception facilities should be recorded in the Schengen Information System (SIS) and reported as missing persons. MEPs also voted to give the European police force Europol direct access to the Eurodac data base in order to prevent terrorist attacks and common crimes. In addition to fingerprints, the system should also allow the search and comparison of facial images and other personal data, such as name and identity document number when this information is available."
EP press release: Asylum: MEPs tighten internal security and improve safety for refugee children (pdf)
Council position as of 1 June 2017, still under negotiation: 9879/17 (LIMITE, pdf)
Commission proposal: COM(2016) 272 final (4 May 2016, pdf)
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