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New measures to improve data exchange between EU information systems to manage borders, security and migration were adopted by MEPs on Tuesday.

The new rules will make EU information systems used in security, border and migration management interoperable enabling data exchange between the systems. This will facilitate the tasks of border guards, migration officers, police officers and judicial authorities by providing them with more systematic and faster access to various EU security and border-control information systems.

The main elements of the new legislation are:

  • European search portal allowing simultaneous searches, rather than searching each system individually;
  • Shared biometric matching service for cross-matching fingerprints and facial images from several systems;
  • Common identity repository providing biographical information such as dates of birth and passport numbers for more reliable identification;
  • Multiple identity detector, detecting whether a person is registered under multiple identities in different databases.

Furthermore, proper safeguards will be in place to protect fundamental rights and access to data.

The systems covered by the new rules would include the Schengen Information System, Eurodac, the Visa Information System (VIS) and three new systems: the European Criminal Records System for Third Country Nationals (ECRIS-TCN), the Entry/Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).

Next steps

The rules on interoperability between EU information systems focusing on borders and visa were adopted by 511 to 123, 9 abstentions. The legislation on interoperability between EU information systems focusing on police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration was approved 510 to 130, 9 abstentions.

The new rules have already been agreed upon by the Parliament and Council negotiators in February. After the formal approval of the Council, member states will have two years to adopt the new rules.