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Plans to boost information-gathering and exchange by law enforcement authorities and agencies - implementation report
15.5.17
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An updated report on the implementation of the Council's 'Roadmap to enhance information and exchange and information management' gives a detailed overview on the numerous initiatives underway that seek to increase the gathering, processing and exchange of data amongst law enforcement authorities in the EU.

See: Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: - State of play of its implementation (second implementation report) (8433/17, LIMITE, 11 May 2017, pdf)

The amount of personal data held and processed at EU level is increasing significantly, as highlighted in the report:

"According to Europol, on 1 January 2017, the EIS [European Information System] contained 395,357 objects, which is a record number (annual increase of 34%). The total number of person objects stored in the EIS was 103,796 (annual increase of 20%).

A total of 1,436,838 searches (98% by MS) were performed in the EIS in 2016. 86% of the searches in 2016 were batch searches. Compared to 2015, the total number of searches increased by 127%."

Meanwhile:

"The use of SIS [Schengen Information System] increased considerably during 2016 through the concerted action of Member States, Commission and eu-LISA:

- number of searches in SIS have increased from over 2.8 billion (2015) to almost 4 billion (increase of 40 %);

- number of hits also increased from 154 768 hits (2015) to 200 778 hits (increase of 30 %);

- number of alerts issued on persons for the purpose of discreet or specific checks for national security reasons (article 36(3) of the SIS II Decision): 8 068 alerts on 1/1/2016 compared to 9 695 alerts on 1/1/2017 (increase of 20 %);

- number of discreet checks alerts on persons and objects requiring immediate reporting: 5 453 alerts on 1/1/2016 compared to 6 680 alerts on 1/1/2017 (increase of 20 %).

MS are invited to continue their efforts to upload available identifiers in alerts and enable searches on fingerprints and provision of facial image feedback in the case of a hit."

And on the development of ECRIS, the European Criminal Records Information System:

"An expert meeting was organised by the Commission on 10-11 January 2017 to discuss the possibility of establishing a central database for the future ECRIS-TCN (third country nationals). Member States indicated that they were generally satisfied with the way current ECRIS works. They also stated that they were not in favour of granting direct access to ECRIS-TCN database to national law enforcement authorities nor Europol, while some support for access by Eurojust was voiced. Member States did not support the possible inclusion of ECRIS-TCN in the European Search Portal envisaged by the HLEG, but did not object to including it into the future Biometric Matching Service. It was also noted that ECRIS-TCN should be built in such a way as to enable interoperability at a later stage. Following the final report by the HLEG, the Commission is expected to table a new proposal for the extension of ECRIS to third country nationals."

Background: Council, Europol and "expert group" press on with plans to boost "information exchange and information management" (Statewatch News Online, September 2016)

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