Better access to European anti-terror databases

The European Commission has announced new measures that will assist in the fight against terrorism. Access to the Visa Information System (VIS), the Schengen Information System (SIS) and EURODAC databases will be improved.

Dec 15, 2005
By David Howell
Social media footage of the disturbance.

The European Commission has announced new measures that will assist in the fight against terrorism. Access to the Visa Information System (VIS), the Schengen Information System (SIS) and EURODAC databases will be improved.

VIS will offer visa information that can be exchanged between Member States. SIS currently stores information on people as they move through Member States. The SIS system has been in operation since 1995 and now included 13 Member States. The system will be replaced with SIS II that will allow the integration of new Member States into the system.

The EURODAC database stores the fingerprints of anyone that requests asylum in the EU with the exception of Denmark, Norway and Iceland, but recent developments will bring Denmark and Switzerland into the scheme. The EURODAC puts into practice what is known as the Dublin II Regulation which lays down regulations and procedures for processing any asylum applications in Member States of the EU.

Under the improved regulations these databases will have strict access criteria. The Commission has also adopted a program of development that will see VIS, SIS and EURODAC improved over the coming years. The Commission is also looking closely at the possible creation of a European criminal Automated Fingerprints Identification System that would allow the monitoring of entry and exit of frequent travellers across Member States boarders.

Vice-President Franco Frattini, Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security, said: “It is essential in the fight against terrorism and organised crime for the relevant services of the Member States and relevant bodies of the European Union, such as Europol, to have the fullest and most up-to-date information if they are to perform their tasks properly and effectively.”

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