All criminals and those thinking of committing a criminal act in the European Union should be aware that authorities across all the EU’s Member States will now have all the relevant information about them, ranging from personal details such as name and address, to biometric data such as fingerprints and facial images. This will now apply to everybody found guilty of committing a crime in the EU’s Member States: both EU citizens as well as third country-nationals.
Today, the European Parliament brought negotiations on the extension of the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) to third-country nationals, which means that from now on, this system will not distinguish between the nationality of the criminals. According to Pàl Csàky MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman on the dossier, this important change means that judges, prosecutors and other relevant authorities will now have all the information needed on criminal acts in the European Union, irrelevant of the nationality of who committed the crime.
“A lot of sentences given in courts in the EU’s Member States usually depend on information that judges and magistrates have on the offenders. The introduction of ECRIS was an important first step in making data on previous convictions available to such authorities. Now, we are taking the next step in extending this information system to third-country nationals. This way, the criminal information database will be used to its full potential”, Csàky said.
“The updated ECRIS will not only improve judicial cooperation between Member States, and thus crime prosecution in the EU, it will also decrease costs and administrative burdens for Member States, as they would not need to send requests for data to all the other Member States”, Csàky added.
The ECRIS System has been operational since 2012 providing data for an average of 600,000 requests every year.