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Motion to approve European documents relating to the Schengen Information System

Published Friday, December 15, 2017

A debate on a Motion to approve European documents relating to the Schengen Information System is scheduled for Tuesday 19 December 2017.

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The text of the motion as it appears on the Order Paper is:

Mr Nick Hurd

That this House takes note of European Union Documents No. 15812/16, a Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the use of the Schengen Information System for the return of illegally staying third-country nationals, and No. 15814/16, a Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, amending Regulation (EU) No 515/2014 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1986/2006, Council Decision 2007/533/JHA and Commission Decision 2010/261/EU; agrees with the Government’s decision not to opt in to proposals on the use of the Schengen Information System for the return of illegally staying third-country nationals; and further agrees with the Government’s decision not to opt out of proposals on the establishment, operation and use of the Schengen Information System in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

Summary

The Second Generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) is a database of real time alerts about individuals and objects (such as vehicles) of interest to EU law enforcement agencies. It includes information on people wanted under a European Arrest Warrant, suspected foreign fighters and missing people.   

It contains around 70 million “alerts” on individuals or objects likely to be of interest to border control and law enforcement authorities. Alerts created in any of the 29 countries operating SIS II are stored in a central database and are immediately accessible to around two million end-users.   

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed three Regulations to improve the functioning of SIS II and strengthen border control and counter-terrorism efforts across the EU:   

  1. A proposed Regulation on the use of SIS II for the return of illegally staying third country nationals (“the proposed returns Regulation”);  
  2. A proposed Regulation on the use of SIS II in the field of border checks (“the proposed border checks Regulation”); and  
  3. A proposed Regulation on the use of SIS II in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (“the proposed police cooperation Regulation”). 

The UK is entitled to participate in two of the three proposed Regulations — 1 and 3 — as they cover areas of Schengen cooperation in which the UK has chosen to take part. The Government has indicated that it intends to participate in the proposed police cooperation Regulation but not the proposed returns Regulation.

The Regulations would necessitate technical and operational changes to SIS II which are not expected to take effect until around 2021, after the date on which the UK is expected to leave the EU. The Government’s future partnership paper, Security, law enforcement and criminal justice, indicates that the Government hopes to negotiate a treaty between the UK and the EU providing a legal basis for continued cooperation between the UK and the EU in the area of security cooperation.

Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0263

Authors: Joanna Dawson; Sarah Pepin

Topics: Crime, Criminal law, EU law and treaties, Intelligence services, Terrorism

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