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Parliamentary questions
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3 September 2019
Question for written answer E-002611-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Sophia in 't Veld (Renew) , Irina Von Wiese (Renew) , Jan-Christoph Oetjen (Renew) , Maite Pagazaurtundúa (Renew) , Moritz Körner (Renew) , Abir Al-Sahlani (Renew) , Olivier Chastel (Renew) , Dragoş Tudorache (Renew) , Ramona Strugariu (Renew) , Malik Azmani (Renew) , Fabienne Keller (Renew) , Antony Hook (Renew) , Michal Šimečka (Renew) , Yana Toom (Renew) , Anna Júlia Donáth (Renew)

 Subject:  Illegal use of Schengen information system database by UK authorities

In May 2018, EUobserver revealed that the UK had been illegally copying classified personal information (including photographs and fingerprints) from the Schengen Information System (SIS). The UK, a non-member of the Schengen area, has had limited access to the database since 2015. US companies hired by the UK Government were also given access to the copies(1).

On 24 July 2019, Commissioner King stated that the UK had taken ‘practical steps’ to address this issue, and that a number of Member States ‘have challenges in this area’(2).

1. Does the Commission agree that this constitutes a very serious breach, which will undermine public trust in the EU, and that a full, detailed and swift inquiry is called for — with its findings presented to Parliament?

2. Is it concerned that the US authorities could have forced these US companies to disclose data on EU citizens that had been obtained from these illegal SIS copies, under the US CLOUD Act and the Patriot Act, and could it say what these ‘practical measures’ consist of?

3. Will it start infringement procedures against those Member States that breach SIS rules, thus posing serious and immediate risks to the integrity and security of SIS data and that of EU citizens?


Last updated: 18 September 2019Legal notice