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Schengen: creation of a European Agency for the Schengen area. Carlos Coelho MEP

Date

16 Jun 2011

Sections

EU Priorities 2020
Global Europe

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament has adopted, by an overwhelming majority of 43 votes in favour, 3 against and 1 abstention, a draft Report by Carlos Coelho MEP on the creation of an Agency for the operational management of large-scale information technology (IT) systems in the area of freedom, security and justice.

The objective of the proposal is to establish a European Agency responsible for the management of the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II), the Visa Information System (VIS), EURODAC and other IT systems in the Schengen area.

While the SIS II aims at contributing to ensure a high level of security within the area of freedom, security and justice of the EU, maintaining public security and public policy, the VIS enables consulates and other competent authorities to exchange visa information for the purposes of facilitating the visa application procedure, preventing 'visa shopping', contributing to the fight against fraud, facilitating checks at external borders, and assisting in the identification of third country nationals. EURODAC is an IT system which facilitates the establishment of a mechanism for determining responsibility for asylum applications lodged in one of the EU Member States.

The regulatory Agency shall be established as a Community body, having legal personality.

The Rapporteur informed that the Justice and Home Affairs Council of last week confirmed the compromise on the IT Agency Regulation, reached by the European Parliament, the Hungarian Presidency of the Council and the European Commission at the last high-level trialogue that took place on 25 May.

It was also clearly stated in all relevant articles of the Regulation that the Agency can only be made responsible for the preparation, development and operational management of other large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice, if so provided by the relevant legislative instrument.

Improvements were inserted in the text in terms of security and data protection and the role of the European Parliament has been reinforced, as well as transparency. The Rapporteur considers that a good and balanced text was reached and highlights the importance that this Agency starts functioning as soon as possible.

The adoption of the Report in Plenary is foreseen for the July Strasbourg session.

For further information:
Carlos COELHO MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845551
Sandra Carreira, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-2-2832508

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