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May 14, 2019

Vulnerabilities In EU Information Systems for Security to be Fixed with Connected System

"Today, we are putting in place a critical pillar of this project, giving border guards and police officers the right tools to protect European citizens"

By CBR Staff Writer

The EU Council today fully adopted the Commissions proposal to close the information security gaps that exist within border and migration security controls.

Currently numerous EU information systems related to security and border control do not communicate with each other. The EU has long feared that this lack of interoperability poses a high risk to EU security as it can allow criminals and terrorists to escape detection, often just by the simple use of multiple identities.

Roll-out of the connected systems will see the creation of a European search portal that lets border guards and police carry out simultaneous checks of identity documents against all EU information systems on a single screen, instead of verifying documents against multiple databases.

It will also create shared biometric matching service, which will use fingerprints and facial images to search across existing information systems, and a common identity repository, which will store biographical data of non-EU citizens.

Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King commented in a release that: “With interoperability today becoming a legal reality, the blind spots that exist in our information systems will soon be eliminated. Those working in the frontline to keep EU citizens safe, police officers and border guards, will have efficient access to the information they need, when they need it. And criminals will no longer be able to easily slip through the net.”

EU Information Systems for Security

The Commission’s proposals will see three existing systems connected:

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1) The Schengen Information System (SIS) – a database spanning information on both people and objects spanning criminal activity, terrorism and missing persons;

2) Eurodac – a fingerprint database of asylum applicants and third-country nationals irregularly crossing EU borders or irregularly staying in the EU.

3) Visa Information System (VIS) information on short-stay visas.

It will also connect three systems proposed by the Commission:

1) Entry/Exit System [pdf] (EES) – an electronic register of entry and exit information of third-country nationals crossing EU borders.

2) European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) – pre-travel security and irregular migration screening of visa-exempt non-EU nationals.

3) European Criminal Record Information System (ECRIS-TCN system) system for
exchanging information on non-EU nationals convicted in the European Union.

Once fully implemented, eu-LISA, the EU Agency responsible for the operational management of large-scale information systems in the area of freedom, security and justice, will be responsible for the development and the roll-out of the technical components that will make EU information systems interoperable.

The adoption of the proposal by the EU Council today marks the last step in the legislative process. Once the the text of the regulation is entered into the Official Journal of the European Union it will come into force 20 days later.

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos stated that: “An effective and genuine Security Union is about ensuring that national authorities and EU Agencies can cooperate seamlessly by connecting the dots between our migration, border and security information systems.”

“Today, we are putting in place a critical pillar of this project, giving border guards and police officers the right tools to protect European citizens”

See Also: What Can the UK and Europe Teach the World about Banking Innovation?

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