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Statewatch Observatory
Creation of a centralised Justice & Home Affairs database is "a point of no return"

This Observatory covers the so-called "interoperability" of EU JHA databases which in reality will create a centralised EU state database covering all existing and future JHA databases
(Edited by Tony Bunyan) (Updated 6.8.18)


The European Data Protection Supervisor says in his Opinion: "Interoperability is not primarily a technical choice, it is in particular a political choice to be made. Against the backdrop of the clear trend to mix distinct EU law and policy objectives (i.e. border checks, asylum and immigration, police cooperation and now also judicial cooperation in criminal matters) as well as granting law enforcement routine access to non-law enforcement databases, the decision of the EU legislator to make large-scale IT systems interoperable would not only permanently and profoundly affect their structure and their way of operating, but would also change the way legal principles have been interpreted in this area so far and would as such mark a "point of no return". For these reasons, the EDPS calls for a wider debate on the future of the EU information exchange, their governance and the ways to safeguard fundamental rights in this context."

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:

"The time to ring the alarms bells is not when Big Brother is in place but when there are the first signs of its construction"


1.  Latest News and documents
2.  Statewatch Analyses
3.  The Council of the European Union
4.  The European Commission
5.  The European Parliament
6.  EU agencies and bodies (including EDPS)
7.  HLEG on interoperability
8.  Statewatch News coverage
9.  Commentaries
10. Footnote on "BIg Brother"
Latest News & documents

European Parliament: AMENDMENTS 195 - 468 Draft report Jeroen Lenaers (PE622.263v02-00) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399 and Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 (pdf)

European Parliament: AMENDMENTS 192 - 467 Draft report Nuno Melo (PE622.253v02-00) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) (pdf)

European Parliament: AMENDMENTS 469 - 780 Draft report Jeroen Lenaers (PE622.263v02-00) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399 and Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 (pdf)

European Parliament: AMENDMENTS 468 - 777 Draft report Nuno Melo (PE622.253v02-00) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) (pdf)

European Parliament: AMENDMENTS 778 - 926 Draft report Nuno Melo (PE622.253v02-00) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) (pdf)

European Parliament: AMENDMENTS 781 - 1012 Draft report Jeroen Lenaers (PE622.236v02-00)
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399 and Regulation (EU) 2017/2226
(pdf)

European Parliament: DRAFT REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration)... Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Rapporteur: Nuno Melo (pdf)

euLISA: Shared Biometric Matching Service (sBMS) Feasibility Study - final report (pdf)

Council: Amended proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399, Regulation (EU) 2017/2226, Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the ETIAS Regulation], Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the Regulation on SIS in the field of border checks] and Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the eu-LISA Regulation] (LIMITE doc no: 11018-18, 13 July 2018, pdf)

Council: Amended proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399, Regulation (EU) 2017/2226, Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the ETIAS Regulation], Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the Regulation on SIS in the field of border checks] and Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the eu-LISA Regulation] (LIMITE doc no: 10616-18, 3 July 2018, pdf)

Council: Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) component of the Schengen Information System (SIS) - Implementation of a multiple identity dectector (MID) (10645-18, pdf)

Statewatch Analyses


UPDATED: The “Point of no return”: Interoperability morphs into the creation of a Big Brother centralised EU state database including all existing and future Justice and Home Affairs databases (pdf) by Tony Bunyan: This Analysis looks at key critiques of EU plans to create a pervasive EU state database covering existing and future Justice and Home Affairs databases. (July 2018)

The “Point of no return”: Interoperability morphs into the creation of a Big Brother centralised EU state database including all existing and future Justice and Home Affairs databases (pdf) by Tony Bunyan: This Analysis looks at key critiques of EU plans to create a pervasive EU state database covering existing and future Justice and Home Affairs databases. (May 2018)

Briefing: The interoperability of Justice and Home Affairs databases (by Tony Bunyan, March 2018)

The Shape of Things to Come: Chapter 6 (by Tony Bunyan, 2009)

The “principle of availability”: the free market in access to data/intelligence will rely on “self-regulation” by the law enforcement agencies and make accountability almost meaningless (by Tony Bunyan, December 2006).

Council of the European Union


2018

Council: Amended proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399, Regulation (EU) 2017/2226, Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the ETIAS Regulation], Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the Regulation on SIS in the field of border checks] and Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the eu-LISA Regulation] (LIMITE doc no: 11018-18, 13 July 2018, pdf)

Council: Amended proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399, Regulation (EU) 2017/2226, Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the ETIAS Regulation], Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the Regulation on SIS in the field of border checks] and Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the eu-LISA Regulation] (LIMITE doc no: 10616-18, 3 July 2018, pdf)

Council: Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) component of the Schengen Information System (SIS) - Implementation of a multiple identity dectector (MID) (10645-18, pdf)

The various Council Working groups are considering how the new centralised Justice and Home Affairs is going to work within the overall framework which is set out in: Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: - State of play of its implementation (third implementation report) (LIMITE doc no: 7931-REV-1-18, pdf)

• Council: Amended proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) and amending [Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the Eurodac Regulation],] Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the Regulation on SIS in the field of law enforcement], Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the ECRIS-TCN Regulation] and Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the eu-LISA Regulation] ( LIMITE dco no: 10617-18, 3 July 2018, pdf)

• Council: Amended proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399, Regulation (EU) 2017/2226, Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the ETIAS Regulation], Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the Regulation on SIS in the field of border checks] and Regulation (EU) 2018/XX [the eu-LISA Regulation (LIMITE doc no: 10616-18, 3 July 2018, pdf)

Council: Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399 and Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) - Mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament (LIMITE doc no: 9670-18, dated 8 June 2018, pdf): Council draft showing:

"Changes to the Commission proposal are marked in bold italics and strikethrough. New changes to the Commission proposal compared to ST 9504/18 and ST 9505/18 are marked in bold italics underline and strikethrough underline."

"Interoperability of EU information systems in the area of Justice and Home Affairs has been a priority at the highest political level over the past few years (...)

On the basis of the outcome of that discussion, the Presidency believes that the overall compromise on the draft Regulations, as set out in the annexes to this note, is a balanced one and has a broad degree of support by delegations. It therefore invites the Committee to confirm this and to grant the Presidency a mandate to negotiate with the European Parliament on this basis, with a view to reaching an agreement with the European Parliament by the end of 2018."

Council: Improving security through information sharing: Council agrees negotiating mandate on interoperability (Press release, 14 June 2018, pdf):

On 14 June 2018, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) endorsed, on behalf of the Council, a mandate for negotiations on two regulations establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems in the area of justice and home affairs. On the basis of this mandate, the Council Presidency will start negotiations with the European Parliament once the latter has adopted its position."

Council : Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: - State of play of its implementation (third implementation report) (LIMITE doc 7931-18, pdf):

"On 9 June 2016, the Council endorsed a Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management, including interoperability solutions, in the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) area. This Roadmap contained a total of fifty short- and medium-term actions, together with long-term orientations, tackling the Union's response to migration and security challenges in the area of information exchange."

Letter to the Council from Sir Tim BARROW, Permanent Representative of the UK to the EU (LIMITE doc no: 9238-18, pdf). The UK seeking to join the new EU centralised database.

Council: Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) - Presidency revised text of provisions specific to this Regulation (LIMITE doc no: 9505-18, 1 June 2018, pdf):

"Changes to the Commission proposal are marked in bold italics and strikethrough.
- New changes to the Commission proposal compared to ST 7652/18 are marked in bold italics underline and strikethrough underline.

Delegations are invited to note that only provisions highlighted in yellow have been amended in this document. The provisions which are common to both interoperability Regulations and which have already been amended in the Regulation relating to borders and visa will be reproduced in this Regulation at a later stage."

Council: Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) (LIMITE doc no: 9504-18, 86 pages, 1 June 2018, pdf):

"Delegations will find hereafter the text of the proposal for the aforementioned Regulation, as revised by the Presidency, based on the outcome of discussions at the JHA Counsellors meeting on interoperability of EU information systems on 28 May 2018, as well as on delegations' written comments."

Council: Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) (LIMITE doc no: 9074-18. 24 May 2018, 69 pages, pdf): The Council discussing its negotiation position: 31 Footnotes including Member States positions:

"Delegations will find hereafter the text of the proposal for the aforementioned Regulation, as revised by the Presidency, based on the outcome of discussions at the JHA Counsellors meeting on interoperability of EU information systems on 18 May 2018, as well as on delegations' written comments."

Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399 and Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 (LIMITE doc no: 8621-18, 8 May 2018, 69 pages, pdf): Council working on its negotiation position. 32 Footnotes with Member State positions:

"Delegations will find hereafter the text of the proposal for the aforementioned Regulation, as revised by the Presidency, based on the outcome of discussions at DAPIX: interoperability of EU information systems on 17-18 April and 2 May 2018, as well as on delegations' written comments. Changes to the Commission proposal are marked in bold italics and strikethrough."

New changes to the Commission proposal compared to ST 7651/18 are marked in bold italics underline and strikethrough underline.

See: 7651-18 (LIMITE doc 13 April 2018, pdf)

Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) (8621/18, LIMITE, 8 May 2018, pdf)

Delegations: Proposals for Regulations on interoperability - Presidency non-paper (8242/18, 27 April 2018, pdf)

Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) - Presidency revised text of provisions specific to this Regulation (LIMITE doc no: 6551-18, 28 February-18, pdf): The Council developing its negotiating position:

"Changes to the Commission proposal are marked in bold italics and strikethrough. Delegations are invited to note that only provisions highlighted in yellow have been amended in this document. The provisions which are common to both interoperability Regulations and which have already been amended in the Regulation relating to borders and visa would be reproduced in this
Regulation at a later stage."

Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399 and Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 - Examination of the second Presidency revised text of Articles 1-32 (LIMITE doc no: 6552-18, 28 February 2018, pdf); the Council discussing its negotiating position prior to secret trilogues meetings.

Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399 and Regulation (EU) 2017/2226- Presidency revised text of Articles 33-69 (LIMITE doc no: 6550-18, 28 February 2018, pdf) Council working on developing its negotiating position.

Interoperability between EU information systems: a) Interoperability Regulation (borders and visa) b) Interoperability Regulation (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) = Policy debate (EU doc no: 6396-18, 26 February 2018, pdf)

Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation(EU) 2016/399 and Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 - Examination of Presidency revised text of Articles 1-32 (LIMITE doc no: 5758-18, 6 February 2018, pdf)

2017

Non-paper by Frontex on its access to central EU systems for borders and security (LIMITE doc no: 15174-17, 1 December 2017, pdf)

Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: - Update following Council Conclusions on interoperability (14751-17, 27 November 2017, pdf)

Implementation of the provisions on information exchange of the "Prüm Decisions" - overview of documents and procedures - overview of declarations - state of play of implementation of automated data exchange (EU doc no: 5081-rev-5-17, 24 November 2017, pdf) and Rev 4 (pdf)

Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: - Update following Council Conclusions on interoperability (EU doc no: 14751-17, 24 November 2017, pdf)

Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: - Update following Council Conclusions on interoperability (EU doc no: 14750-17, 24 November 2017, pdf)

DAPIX (Friends of Presidency) - Interoperability of EU information systems (EU doc no: 14706-17, 22 November 2017, pdf)

Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: - Update following Council Conclusions on interoperability (LIMITE doc no: 12223-rev-3-17, 16 November 2017, pdf) and Rev-2 (LIMITE doc no: 12223-rev-2-17, * November 2017, pdf) and Rev-1 (LIMITE doc no: 12223-Rev-1-17, 23 October 2017, pdf) and 12223-17 (LIMITE doc, 21 September 2017, pdf)

Possibilities for interoperability between EES and SIS (LIMITE doc no: 12535-17, 4 October 2017, pdf)

Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: - Update following Council Conclusions on interoperability (LIMITE doc no: 12223-add-1-17, 2 October 2017, pdf). Detailed Roadmap plan.

Presidency: To: DAPIX: Friends of Presidency on interoperability of EU information systems (LIMITE doc no: 12258-17, 20-September-2017, pdf)

Council Conclusions on the way forward to improve information exchange and ensure the interoperability of EU information systems - Council conclusions (8 June 2017) (EU doc no: 10151-17, 4 June 2017, pdf)

Draft Council Conclusions on the way forward to improve information exchange and ensure the interoperability of EU information systems (EU doc no: 9704-17, 1 June 2017, pdf)

Draft Council Conclusions on the way forward to improve information exchange and ensure the interoperability of EU information systems (EU doc no: 9448-17, 1 June 2017, pdf)

Draft Council Conclusions on the way forward to improve information exchange and ensure the interoperability of EU information systems (LIMITE doc no: 9132-rev-1-17, 23 May 2017, pdf) and 9132-Rev-2-17,(LIMITE doc: 30 May 2017, pdf)

Discussion paper on interoperability in the light of the recommendations by the High-Level Expert Group on Information Systems and Interoperability (LIMITE doc no: 8797-17, 11 May 2017, pdf)

Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: - State of play of its implementation (second implementation report) (LIMITE doc no: 8433-17, 11 May 2017, pdf)

Discussion paper in relation to the implementation of Chapter 3 of the Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs Area (LIMITE doc no: 6698-17, 8 March 2017, pdf)

Overview of the information exchange environment in the justice and home affairs area (EU doc no: 6253-17, 15 February 2017, pdf)

2016

Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: - State of play of its implementation (LIMITE doc no: 13554-rev-1-17, 8 November 2016, pdf)

Information Exchange and Interoperability: a) Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area b) High Level Expert Group on Information Systems and Interoperability c) Evolution of the Schengen Information System (SIS): additional functionalities (LIMITE doc no: 13770-16, 4-November-2016. pdf)

Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: - State of play of its implementation (LIMITE doc no: 13554-16, 20 October 2016, pdf)

Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: State of play of the implementation of its Actions 1 to 16 (Chapter 2) (EU doc no: 13283-16, 14 October 2016, pdf)

Europol's updated contribution on its short-term activities in the implementation of the Roadmap on information exchange and interoperability (LIMITE doc no: 11495-rev-1-16, 16 September 2016, pdf)

Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area - State of play of the implementation of its actions (Actions 41-50) (LIMITE doc no: 11954-16, 8 September 2016, pdf)

Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area (LIMITE doc no: 9368-rev-1-16, 6 June 2016, pdf)

Europol contribution on improving the EU information exchange architecture and interoperability in the fight against terrorism and serious and organised crime (LIMITE doc no: 8848-16, 12 May 2016, pdf)

Draft Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area (LIMITE doc no: 8437-18, 13 May 2016, pdf) and updated version: REV 1 (pdf)

2003 a Council Presidency: Report of the ad hoc group for the study of the 3rd pillar information systems (LIMITE doc no: 8857-03, pdf) stated on page 11 that the: ""number of terminals through which the N.SISes can be consulted (approx. !!!): 125 000 (cf. document 6739/02 EU CONFIDENTIAL)" [exclamation marks in original!]

Commission



Commission proposals

• Commission: Amended proposal on asylum and migration: Amended proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) (COM 478, 13 June 2018, pdf):

"This proposal, under Chapter IX, seeks to amend the original proposal only insofar as it presents the further necessary amendments to other legal instruments that are required under the interoperability proposal. These amendments were identified as necessary in the original proposal but, because of ongoing negotiations between co-legislators on some of the systems concerned, it was not possible to include the necessary amendments in the original proposal."

• Commission: Amended proposal on police cooperation: Amended proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) (COM 480, 13 June 2018, pdf):

"This proposal, under Chapter VIIIa, seeks to amend the original proposal only insofar as it presents the further necessary amendments to other legal instruments that are required under the interoperability proposal. These amendments were identified as necessary in the original proposal but, because of ongoing negotiations between co-legislators on some of the systems concerned, it was not possible to include the necessary amendments in the original proposal."

Commissioner King Presents Interoperability Proposals to LIBE Committee, European Parliament, Strasbourg (15 January 2018)

Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399 and Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 (COM 793, 12 December 2017, pdf)

Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) (COM 794, 12 December 2017, pdf)

Staff Working Document - Part 1 (COM SWD, 473, 12 December 2017, pdf)

Staff Working Document - Part 2 (COM SWD, 473, 12 December 2017, pdf)

Security Union: A stronger EU Agency for the management of information systems for security and borders (24 May, 2018, link):

"Today, the European Parliament (LIBE Committee) and the Council (COREPER) reached a political compromise on the Commission's proposal to strengthen the mandate of the eu-LISA, the EU Agency for the operational management of large scale IT systems for migration, security and border management."

And see: Council: eu-LISA: agreement between the Council Presidency and the European Parliament (Press release, pdf)

Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Regulation (EC) No 810/2009, Regulation (EU) 2017/2226, Regulation (EU) 2016/399, Regulation XX/2018 [Interoperability Regulation], and Decision 2004/512/EC and repealing Council Decision 2008/633/JHA (COM 302-18, 16 May 2018, pdf) and see Impact Assessment: SWD 195-18 (pdf) Including a "technical" discussion on lowering the age of finger-printing children from 12 to 6 years old. See also: Executive Summary: SWD-196-18

2017

The 12th report of the Security Commissioner (December 2017, pdf)

Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399 and Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 (COM 793, 12 December 2017, pdf)

Proposal for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) (COM 794, 12 December 2017, pdf)

Staff Working Document - Part 1 (COM SWD, 473, 12 December 2017, pdf)

Staff Working Document - Part 2 (COM SWD, 473, 12 December 2017, pdf)

Regulatory Scrutiny Board Opinion on Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between European Union information systems (borders and visa) (SEC 554-17, 12 December 2017, pdf). The Regulatory Scrutiny Board is “an independent body of the Commission that offers advice to the College,” which provides “a central quality control and support function for Commission impact assessment and evaluation work.” Its Opinion on the interoperability proposals

Frequently asked questions - Interoperability of EU information systems for security, border and migration management (12 December 2017, pdf)

Position paper on the consultation: Consultation on the interoperability of EU information systems for borders and security (October 2017, COM, pdf)

Commission Consultatation on interoperability (18 October 2017, link): It is notable that very few "stakeholders" or civil society groups submitted papers as part of the consultation - in fact only six were sent in and 18 responses to a survey form.

Eighth progress report towards an effective and genuine Security Union (COM 354, 29 June 2017, pdf)

Commission Recommendation of 12.5.2017 on proportionate police checks and police cooperation in the Schengen area (C-3349, 12 May 2017, pdf)

2016

Stronger and Smarter Information Systems for Borders and Security (COM 205-16, 6 April 2016, pdf)

2015

24.11.2005 COM(2005) 597 final COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT on improved effectiveness, enhanced interoperability and synergies among European databases in the area of Justice and Home Affairs (EU doc no 15122-05, 29 November 2005, pdf)

European Parliament


European Parliament: AMENDMENTS 195 - 468 Draft report Jeroen Lenaers (PE622.263v02-00) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399 and Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 (pdf)

European Parliament: AMENDMENTS 192 - 467 Draft report Nuno Melo (PE622.253v02-00) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) (pdf)

European Parliament: AMENDMENTS 469 - 780 Draft report Jeroen Lenaers (PE622.263v02-00) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399 and Regulation (EU) 2017/2226 (pdf)

European Parliament: AMENDMENTS 468 - 777 Draft report Nuno Melo (PE622.253v02-00) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) (pdf)

European Parliament: AMENDMENTS 778 - 926 Draft report Nuno Melo (PE622.253v02-00) Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) (pdf)

European Parliament: AMENDMENTS 781 - 1012 Draft report Jeroen Lenaers (PE622.236v02-00)
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending Council Decision 2004/512/EC, Regulation (EC) No 767/2008, Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, Regulation (EU) 2016/399 and Regulation (EU) 2017/2226
(pdf)

European Parliament: DRAFT REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration)... Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Rapporteur: Nuno Melo (pdf)

European Parliament: Draft report: Draft report on the proposal for a regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa) and amending... (29 May 2018, pdf)

Study: Interoperability of Justice and Home Affairs Information Systems (April 2018, pdf):

"primarily assesses the Commission’s December 2017 proposals for a Regulation on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU Justice and Home Affairs information systems. The study first analyses the relationships between the information systems in the current and proposed implementation before assessing the key elements of the Commission’s proposals, including the concept of interoperability used, the problem definition and objectives and the proposed solutions, as well as the implementation, fundamental rights and data security implications."

Interoperability between EU information systems for security, border and migration management (February 2018, pdf)

European information systems in the area of justice and home affairs: An overview (May 2017, pdf):

"This EPRS publication provides an overview of the existing and proposed European information systems in the area of justice and home affairs. It discusses the legal basis, the purposes, the scope of data and access, the utilisation and the proposed changes for each information system, including issues of interoperability."

Evaluating current and forthcoming proposals on JHA databases and a smart borders system at EU external borders (November 2013, pdf)

"This study examines current and forthcoming measures related to the exchange of data and information in EU JHA policies, with a focus on the ‘smart borders’ initiative. It argues that there is no reversibility in the growing reliance on such schemes and asks whether current and forthcoming proposals are necessary and original. The study outlines the main challenges raised by the proposals, including issues related to the right to data protection, but also to privacy and non-discrimination."

EU agencies and bodies


euLISA: Shared Biometric Matching Service (sBMS) Feasibility Study - final report (pdf)
Chairs of the SIS II, VIS and Eurodac Supervision Coordination Groups: Opinion on the Proposals for two Regulations establishing a framework for interoperability between EU large-scale information systems (10484/18, 27 June 2018, pdf)

EDPS calls for wider debate on the future of information sharing in the EU (Press release, 16 April 2018, pdf) and Opinion (16 April 2018, full-text, pdf)

Reflection Paper on the interoperability of information systems in the area of Freedom, Security and Justice (17 November 2017, pdf)

Opinion 9/2017: EDPS Opinion on the proposal for a Regulation on the eu-LISA (9 October 2017, pdf)

European Data Protection Supervisor statement on the concept of interoperability in the field of migration, asylum and security (8 May 2017, pdf)

Comments on the Communication of the Commission on interoperability of European databases (10 March 2006, pdf)

EU Fundamental Rights Agency: Interoperability and fundamental rights implications (11 April 2018, pdf)

EU Fundamental Rights Agency: Under watchful eyes: biometrics, EU IT systems and fundamental rights (2018, pdf)

Article 29 Working Party: Opinion on Commission proposals on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems in the field of borders and visa as well as police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration (11 April 2018, pdf)

Commentaries


•  Meijers Committee: Comments on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a framework for interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration) (12 December 2017, COM (2017) 794)

•  Privacy International response to consultation on the interoperability of EU information systems for borders and security (2017, pdf)

•  EU FUndamental Rights Agency: Opinion: Interoperability and fundamental rights implications (18 April 2018, link)

High-level expert group on information systems and interoperability


•   High-Level Expert Group on Information Systems and Interoperability (HLEG): Final report (11 May 2017, pdf)

•   HLEG: Interim Report (21 December 2016, pdf)

•  High-level expert group on information systems and interoperability (link to Expert group site on Commission website with additional documents under "Additional Information")

•   Commission Decision: of 17.6.2016 setting up the High Level Expert Group on Information Systems and Interoperability (pdf)

•  For a full list of documents produced See here

Statewatch News coverage


Council discussions underway on implementing "interoperable" centralised database including EU citizens

The various Council Working groups are considering how the new centralised Justice and Home Affairs is going to work within the overall framework which is set out in: Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: - State of play of its implementation (third implementation report) (LIMITE doc no: 7931-REV-1-18, pdf).(15 July 2018)

•  "Interoperability" proposals criticised again by EU data protection specialists (2 July 2018)

New interoperable, centralised, Justice & Home Affairs database: Adoption of Regulations a democratic shambles (26 June 2018)

•  UK seeking to join interoperable "Big Brother" database (10 June 2018)

• Interoperability: latest Council text of the proposed Regulation on borders and visa (11 May 2018)

• Interoperability: Member States want "substantial changes" to Entry/Exit System; questions over "red links" and the role of Frontex (9 May 2018)

•  Fundamental Rights Agency: interoperability will give authorities unwarranted access to additional personal data (25 April 2018)

•  EU: "Interoperability": Plans to link all Justice & Home Affairs databases into one centralised system - repeated references to migration, internal security and terrorism (17 December 2017)

•  EDPS "Reflection paper" on the interoperability of JHA databases poses fundamental questions (2 December 2017)

•  Council moves quickly to get interoperable centralised database operative (6 June 2017)

•  Interoperability and EU databases: Big Brother takes shape (29 June 2017)

•  Council: EU JHA agencies want access to all fingerprints, palm prints and facial images held under interoperability plans (24 September 2017)

•  Interoperability and EU databases: Big Brother takes shape (29 June 2017

•  Commission wants a quick march to interoperable, centralised EU databases by 2020 (17 May 2017)

EU wastes no time welcoming prospect of Big Brother databases (15 May 2017)

•  Council of the European Union gets to work on the interoperability of EU databases (17 February 2018)

•  Council, Europol and "expert group" press on with plans to boost "information exchange and information management" (September 2016)

•  Fingerprinting for all? Inclusion of all travellers in new border database to be discussed by 'High Level Expert Group' (4 July 2016)

•  Lubricating the flow of information in the EU, by Eric Topfer: Statewatch Journal; vol 21 no 1 January-March 2011
The EU Information Management Strategy (IMS), is meant to include a strong data protection regime. However, while the first practical steps have been taken, fundamental rights are falling behind

The “principle of availability” (December 2006) by Tony Bunyan

•  A reminder from history: When the process started: Biometrics - the EU takes another step down the road to 1984 (Statewatch News Online, September 2003). After 11 September 2002 Statewatch started an Observatory: S.O.S. Europe: Statewatch Observatory on Surveillance in Europe with extensive coverage on the reaction. Including: The “war on freedom and democracy” (September 2002, pdf) and “Scoreboard” on post-Madrid counter-terrorism plans (2004, pdf)

10. Footnote on "BIg Brother"


Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "The time to ring the alarms bells is not when Big Brother is in place but when there are the first signs of its construction."

The new centralised database is the first step in the creation of "EU Big Brother". The concept of Big Brother is taken from "1984" the book by George Orwell (Wiki, link) where the "state wherein the ruling Party wields total power "for its own sake" over the inhabitants." Orwell set the story in a totalitarian state:

"Totalitarianism is a political concept where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to control every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible. Totalitarian regimes stay in political power through rule by one leader and an all-encompassing propaganda campaign, which is disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that is often marked by political repression, personality cultism, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of speech, mass surveillance and widespread use of terror."

In 1984 Orwell encapsulated another key feature in the construction of Big Brother which employs Thought crime (link) to maintain hegemony. And tellingly argued that:

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

To be sure we do not live in a totalitarian state. Yet I have argued elsewhere in The Shape of Things to Come (2008, pdf) that:

"The creation of a surveillance state, for that is what is being proposed, will take the EU further down the road to authoritarianism, a path which looks less and less likely to be reversible."

I argued too that authoritarianism - strong central power and limited political freedoms. Individual freedoms are subordinated to the state and where there is little or no constitutional accountability - when coupled with state racism (based on the fear of "the other") is a very dangerous road especially when a veneer of democracy is legitimating the creation of a coercive (and surveillance) state, See: "While Europe sleeps..." (pdf) in The War on Freedom and Democracy", (2005)

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