Press Release - Coreper II adopts the terms of mandate for the storage of asylum seekers’ fingerprints
10.10.2012, 15:36 (CET)
The Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper II) endorsed today the text of the negotiating mandate of the Council for the EURODAC regulation, concerning the database storage of asylum seekers’ fingerprints. The relevant regulation (EURODAC), is expected to be discussed through   trialogues between the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

The EURODAC database was initially established in 2000 and  stores fingerprints of asylum seekers and persons illegally entering the EU. The comparison of fingerprints by Member States allows for the effective application of the Dublin Regulation and helps in the determination of the Member State that is responsible to examine an asylum application.

Facilitating the exchange of information

A recast proposal for the amendment of the EURODAC Regulation was adopted by the Commission in June 2012. The Regulation is the last legislative piece necessary in view of the establishment of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) by the end of 2012. The current recast proposal, besides improving the current Regulation concering the access for asylum purposes, also introduces the possibility for the law enforcement authorities of Member States and for Europol to access the EURODAC central database, for prevention, detection and investigation of terrorist offences and other serious criminal offences.

The recast proposal, therefore, addresses a structural information and verification gap, which currently results from the lack of an available EU instrument to law enforcement authorities, in order to determine the Member State that holds information on an asylum seeker. While in general, law enforcement authorities in Member States have access to data on EU citizens throughout the Union,  there are no effective possibilities available for law enforcement authorities to exchange information on asylum seekers.

The Council, in less than three months under the Danish and the Cyprus Presidencies, examined the text and reached an agreement reflected in today’s text. The text endorsed today in the Coreper II, improves the original Commission proposal in several technical aspects and addresses data protection concerns, while it also clarifying the competences of the various authorities involved.

The endorsement of this text allows for the commencement of trialogues as soon as the European Parliament adopts its own relevant position.

The Coreper IΙ also adopted today the terms of mandate for the beginning of trialogues with the EP on the remaining “comitology” provisions of the Dublin Regulation.  Trialogues  currently continue on the Asylum Procedures Directive, in an effort to be concluded by the end of 2012, and thus establishing the CEAS.

Presidency Spokesperson in Brussels
Nikos Christodoulides

Coreper II

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