14 October 2021
The Slovenian Presidency recently proposed accelerating negotiations on plans to expand the Eurodac database that would transform it into a "multi-purpose" system for capturing the data of asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants. However, a document setting out the views of a number of member states suggests there is not much enthusiasm for the idea.
See: NOTE from: General Secretariat of the Council to: Delegations: Amended proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of 'Eurodac' (Council doc. 12694/11, LIMITE, 11 October 2021, pdf):
"Following the Informal meetings of the Asylum Working Party on 21 September 2021, delegations will find attached a compilation of replies received from Member States on the abovementioned subject."
The Slovenian Presidency recently announced a plan to "delink the text of the draft Regulation from the other proposals of the Pact [on Migration and Asylum] which are under negotiation," making it possible to start gathering more data on extended categories of people (in particular, undocumented migrants) without other new legislation being in place.
According to the document containing member states' comments, only France, Germany and Romania are in favour of the plan.
Meanwhile, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain are all against it.
In a joint contribution, the 'MED5' countries (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain) state:
"The MED5 countries reiterate their position that all proposed legislative files must advance in a coherent and cohesive manner, thus contributing to a sustainable, crisis-resilient and fair migration management system. Therefore, we cannot support the delinkage of Eurodac from the other legislative files of the Pact, since it is functional to policies on asylum, resettlement and irregular migration.
The new Asylum and Migration Pact should provide for the challenges faced by the States at the external border of the Union while addressing their singularities and ensuring a balance between responsibility and solidarity."
The Croatian government, meanwhile, would like to increase the data retention period to 10 years "for the simple reason of security," which is not what most would consider to be a well-reasoned argument.
However, that does not mean it won't work - it is precisely the argument that was used to make it mandatory to store fingerprints in national identity cards.
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