Eurodac: deal on better identification of asylum seekers and irregular migrants 

Press Releases 
  • Facial images will be stored alongside fingerprints 
  • Children from 6-years-old will be identified to ensure they are better protected 
  • Authorities will record in the system if a person could present a security threat 

Co-legislators provisionally agreed a more effective system to identify people arriving into the EU, with improved statistics and better data protection safeguards.

The revised Eurodac Regulation will improve the collection of data on asylum applicants and irregular migrants apprehended in the EU member states territory through biometric data - by adding facial images to existing fingerprinting databases - and additional information, including name, surname, nationality and date and place of birth. Authorities will also include information on decisions to remove and return the person or relocate them.

Lowering the age of identification from 14 to 6 years old

The threshold for collecting data from a child will be lowered from 14 to 6 years of age, to be taken by trained staff in a child-friendly manner. This information will make it easier to identify unaccompanied minors who may abscond from care institutions or child social services, and help keep track of minors that are separated from their families and might then be found in another member state.

Security flags

Authorities will be able to record in the system if a person presents a threat to internal security, only if the person is violent or unlawfully armed, or where they have links to terrorism or a terrorist group, or are involved in offences within the scope of the European arrest warrant.

New categories

The fact that a person has been disembarked in an EU member state following a search and rescue operation will be recorded separately and used for statistical purposes in order to provide a more accurate picture of migratory flows into the EU. MEPs supported including people taking part in national and EU resettlement schemes in the scope of the database.


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 – in order to provide useful information to policy makers.


Rapporteur Jorge Buxadé Villalba (ECR, Spain) said: "After months of complex negotiations, we succeeded. The agreement to reform the current Eurodac database will allow member states to store and check fingerprints, facial images, travel documents, and all the information needed to identify individuals illegally staying in the EU, as well as applicants and beneficiaries of international protection. This new database will prevent secondary movements, and will facilitate the work of authorities to return those with no right to stay. Moreover, with the new data, it will be easier for authorities to identify individuals who are using deceptive means to avoid identification. We are also delivering on security, one of the main concerns for EU citizens. Eurodac will contain security flags on individuals that could pose a threat to the internal security of member states. Asylum authorities will be informed about threats so they can act accordingly.”

Next steps

The provisionally agreed text needs to be endorsed by Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee and plenary, as well as the Council, before it can be published in the Official Journal and enter into force.


Established in 2000, Eurodac was then reformed in 2013 – those changes are in place since 2015-. Administered by eu-LISA, Eurodac supports the management of European asylum applications by storing and processing the digitalised fingerprints of asylum seekers and irregular migrants on EU territory. National police authorities and Europol can access the system to investigate terrorist and other serious criminal offences.

Eurodac is currently operational across 31 countries, encompassing all 27 EU member states and four associated countries, namely Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.

The reform of Eurodac is part of the wider revamp of the EU’s common asylum and migration rules, on which negotiators from Parliament and Council reached a comprehensive deal today. You can find more information here.