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EU aims to strengthen interoperability of security systems



European Council mandates negotiations to include biometrics matching and identity repository

The European Council has taken a step towards a stronger system for sharing information on justice and home affairs, with plans that include a biometric matching service and common identity repository.

Its Permanent Representatives Committee has endorsed a mandate, on behalf of the council, for talks on two regulations to set up a framework for interoperability between relevant systems.

This will lead the council presidency to begin talking to the European Parliament once the latter has adopted its position.

The move is aimed at improving security within the EU, making checks at internal borders more effective and combating illegal migration.

The council has identified a number of components for interoperability, including the biometric matching service to make it possible to search and share fingerprints and facial images from several systems.

Along with this will be a common identity repository with biographical and biometric identity data of third country nationals, which will be available in several EU systems.

Detecting multiple identities

The other components are a European search portal, and a multiple identity detector that will check whether identity data in a search exists in other systems covered. The latter will make it possible to detect multiple identities linked to the same set of biometric data.

Among the systems covered will be the Entry/Exit System, Visa Information System, European Travel Information and Authorisation System, the Schengen Information System and the European Criminal Records Information System for Third Country Nationals.

The framework will also take in Europol data and some Interpol databases on travel documents.

Valentin Radev, minister of interior for Bulgaria, which currently holds the EU presidency, said: “The proposed regulations aim to improve security within the EU, make checks at external borders more effective and efficient, and prevent and combat illegal migration.

“Interoperability between information systems will allow the systems to complement each other, help facilitate the correct identification of persons and contribute to fighting identity fraud.”

Image: EU, public domain through Wikimedia

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