Regulation (EU) 2022/1190 amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1862 as regards the entry of information alerts into the Schengen Information System (SIS) on third-country nationals in the interest of the Union
On 9 December 2020, the Commission presented a proposal for a regulation amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1862 on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters as regards the entry of alerts by Europol. This proposal is closely linked with other EU legislative instruments, notably on Europol, insofar as it proposes granting Europol additional rights to process and exchange data, within its mandate, in SIS. As a result, this initiative complemented the proposal adopted by the Commission to amend the Europol Regulation. In the context of on-going EU efforts to facilitate the detection of persons involved in terrorism-related activities, including foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), the Commission identifies several gaps in the sharing of thirdcountry sourced information. While Europol holds valuable information on suspects and criminals received from third countries and international organisations, the Agency is not able to provide directly and in real-time frontline officers with this information. According to the proposal, this is partly due to the fact that Europol is not able to issue alerts in SIS – the most widely used information-sharing database in the EU that is directly accessible to border guards and police officers. In order to address this security gap, the Commission proposal aimed to establish a new alert category specifically for Europol so that the latter provides information directly and in real-time to frontline officers. The purpose of the new alert category is that in case of a ‘hit’, the alert would inform the frontline officer that the person concerned is suspect of being involved in a criminal offence falling within the competence of Europol. The proposal included additional amendments to Regulation (EU) 2018/1862 in order to align its provisions concerning data protection with Regulation (EU) 2016/794 and Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 insofar as those alignments are necessary due to the new alert category to be entered by Europol. In the European Parliament the file was assigned to the LIBE Committee and the rapporteur was Javier Zarzalejos. On 10 March 2021, the EDPS issued a document containing formal comment on the said proposal. Among others, the EDPS highlighted that the proposal had to encompass specific criteria to guide Europol when carrying out an individual assessment and taking a decision to issue an information alert in SIS. Moreover, the EDPS recommended that there should be clear guidance regarding the measures which competent authorities could take in case of a ‘hit’. On 16 March 2021 and 7 June 2021 the LIBE Committee issued drafts reports introducing certain amendments to the proposal. On 13 October 2021 the Council agreed on the mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament. On 12 October 2021, the LIBE Committee adopted its report and decided to open interinstitutional negotiations. The decision was later approved in plenary on 21 October 2021. The first political trilogue took place on 27 October 2021 and finally a provisional agreement was reached on 30 March 2022. In the Parliament, the LIBE committee approved the text on 31 March 2022 which was subsequently adopted in plenary at first reading on 8 June 2022. The Council adopted the text on 27 June 2022 which was published in the Official Journal on 12 July 2021. As mentioned above, this initiative is closely linked with the amendment of the Europol Regulation. Therefore, the text adopted by the co-legislator being in line with Regulation 2022/991 amending the Europol Regulation, amends the Commission proposal and establishes a specific category of alerts in the interest of the Union entered into the SIS by the Member States following a proposal by Europol for the exchange of information on persons involved in serious crime or terrorism.
Reference number: Regulation (EU) 2022/1190
Issue date: 06-07-22
Official Journal: OJ L 185, 12.7.2022, p. 1–9