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Highlights of the March I plenary session included debates on Brexit, preparation of the European Council meeting of 21-22 March 2019, and the latest debate on the Future of Europe, with Peter Pellegrini, Slovakia's Prime Minister. Parliament also held debates on a proposed European human rights violations sanctions regime; the situation in Venezuela and Nicaragua; opening EU-US trade negotiations; climate change; gender balance in nominations to EU economic and monetary affairs bodies; and on the ...

During March, the European Parliament is due to vote in plenary on two legislative proposals to upgrade the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS). ECRIS allows judges and prosecutors to request information on the criminal history of any EU national. However, the current system does not allow easy access to information on third-country nationals convicted within the EU. The new rules aim to close this gap.

In May, the European Parliament is due to vote on a proposal for a regulation on promoting the free movement of citizens and businesses by simplifying the requirements for presenting certain public documents issued by another Member State. The proposal, one of the key initiatives presented by the Commission during the European Year of Citizens in 2013, is also intended to contribute to the European Union's ‘Justice for growth’ policy.

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment accompanying the Commission proposal on the European Criminal Records Information System, submitted on 19 January 2016 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. The European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) is an electronic system allowing Member States to exchange information on previous convictions against an individual ...

Four EU Member States are currently piloting a project for networking of their national criminal records. Within the EU as a whole, pressure to improve the exchange of criminal records has been growing steadily in recent years. The deficits of existing procedures have been highlighted by a serious of high-profile cases. New measures are needed to ensure that comprehensive records, be they on sex offenders, terrorists or simply road traffic offenders, are passed quickly from one Member State to another ...