Eurodac: MEPs updated their position in view of upcoming negotiations with the Council
- Eurodac new rules will allow to follow individual situations of asylum applicants and irregular migrants
- Better statistics through interoperability to inform policy makers
- Database to include information on resettled persons, but no separate category on search and rescue
- Improved data protection safeguards
Revised Eurodac will allow for a more performing system for identifying asylum seekers and irregular migrants, improved statistics and better data protection safeguards.
The updated mandate for a legislative proposal, tabled by the Commission in 2020, will allow for the finalisation of the reform of the Eurodac system, building upon previous work and partial agreement reached in June 2018. It will improve the collection and searches of data regarding asylum applicants and irregular migrants through biometric data - fingerprinting and facial images - as well as additional information, such as for example name, surname, nationality, date or place of birth.
Counting persons and improving statistics
Eurodac information regarding a particular person will be linked and povide an overview of individual situations. The production of cross-referenced anonymised statistics will be improved with interoperability between Eurodac and other Justice and Home Affairs systems - such as Visa Information System, ETIAS and Entry/Exit System - and provide useful information to policy makers. Such reports will also be made available to the European Parliament. While MEPs supported the inclusion of the persons taking part in resettlement schemes into the scope of the database, they did not support the creation of a new category of persons disembarked following maritime search and rescue operations.
Data protection safeguards
MEPs wish to strengthen data protection provisions by demanding coordinated independent supervisor of the data processing activities in Eurodac and access to data by national authorities and EU agencies, notably the European Union Agency for Asylum, Frontex and Europol, only when strictly necessary for the performance of specific tasks.
The updated mandate has been approved on Monday with 30 votes in favour and 15 against.
Rapporteur Jorge Buxadé Villalba (ECR, Spain) said: "Eurodac database will include the possibility to store and search data belonging to third-country nationals who are not applicants for international protection and who are found irregularly staying in the EU, so that they can be identified for return and readmission purposes. It will facilitate the work of the authorities, in particular with regard to illegal immigrants who use deceptive means to avoid identification and thus frustrate their possible documentation, with improved data and by tracking the immigrants themselves not just the applications as it is the case now. Access to the database by the border protection agency Frontex will be guaranteed and security alerts included if a person could pose a threat to internal security. Negotiations with the Council will start as from this Thursday."
The proposal will be negotiated between co-legislators the Council and the European parliament. It has to be formally approved by both before it can become law. The European Parliament and the upcoming Council Presidencies have committed to make all efforts to finalise the reform of the Asylum and Migration legislative framework before April 2024.
The Eurodac database (European Asylum Dactyloscopy Database), managed by eu-LISA, assists in the processing of European asylum applications and supports the Dublin rules, which determine the member state responsible for dealing with an asylum claim. As this is usually the first country of entry to the EU, it is essential to quickly establish where the applicant has entered into its territory and to be able to follow the movements of migrants moving from the country of first arrival to another member state. It is used in all EU countries as well as in Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
Polona TEDESKOPress Officer