Germany: More than 2,000 new authorities to gain access to the revamped Schengen Information System

The rules on the Schengen Information System (SIS) were revised in 2018 and provide the possibility for member states to connect new authorities, either directly or indirectly, to the database. The system holds data on tens of millions of wanted or missing persons and objects. In Germany, some 2,000 new authorities will gain access to data. Meanwhile in Switzerland, there is a political controversy over accepting the new rules - but if the country were to reject them, it would have to leave the Schengen area altogether.


SIS 3.0: In Germany, 2,000 new authorities are to access the Schengen Information System (Matthias Monroy, link):

"With the implementation of three new regulations, some 2,000 additional German federal, state and local authorities will be connected to the Schengen Information System (SIS II). This is what the German Ministry of the Interior wrote in its response to a minor enquiry in August this year. At that time, it was said that „no reliable estimate could be made“ of the number of new authorised persons. In a new answer, the Ministry is now becoming more specific.

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In Germany, for example, bodies for watercraft or shipping offices at federal and state level, the Federal Aviation Authority with its departments are to be included in the SIS network. In future, the German embassies will be connected and allowed to independently enter return decisions and entry bans for rejected asylum seekers in SIS II.

At the end of the multi-year procedure, the weapons authorities will be linked to the SIS, where they will be able to search for firearms for example. Citizenship and judicial authorities will be connected at a later stage.

Private licensing offices for leisure sports will also be integrated, including associations for aviation and model flying or parachuting as well as the General German Automobile Club. However, they will not be allowed to use the SIS directly, but only with a diversion via police authorities.

Working group with 94 employees

The new regulations provide not only access for new users, but also extended rights for existing ones. The police agency Europol, for example, will have access to all categories of alerts, and the judicial authority Eurojust and the border agency Frontex can now also use alerts in the SIS II.

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Trouble from Switzerland

In addition to most EU Member States (except Ireland and Cyprus), Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland participate in SIS II. As Schengen states, they cannot participate in the decision-making process of the new EU law, but can only accept or reject it as a complete package.

It was only in mid-September that the National Council in Switzerland dealt with the implementation of the new regulations and narrowly voted against it. The tip of the scales was the Social Democratic Party, which abstained throughout, thus helping the Greens and the People’s Party to achieve a dissenting majority.

...the National Council will be asked to approve the ordinances again in the course of the „settlement of differences“ between the two chambers. If the Social Democrats maintain their abstention, Switzerland would have to leave the Schengen area."

 

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