Process of checking the criminal offences committed by non-EU citizens to become easier

25 January 2018
Helga Stevens

The EU Member States will soon be able to exchange data on non-EU criminals more easily. MEP Helga Stevens, co-reporter of the Committee on Counter-Terrorism, calls it an important step forwards for security: “An efficient exchange of information is namely crucial in the fight against crime and terror.”

Already today, countries within the European Union exchange data via the European Criminal Records Information Service (ECRIS). However, due to a cumbersome procedure, it is difficult to gain an insight into the criminal offences committed by a wanted non-European citizen in a different Member State. Specifically, national magistrates have to send separate requests in this regard to their colleagues abroad. “In this way, criminals with different fake IDs slip through the cracks,” Helga Stevens says. “By including them in the ECRIS database as well, including their fingerprints and photos, we can prevent crimes and attacks.”

Extra protection for vulnerable citizens

Furthermore, when non-EU citizens want to work with children or vulnerable persons, the Member States can consult the database. “As an MEP, I defend the rights of persons with a disability to the utmost,” Helga Stevens concludes. “I find it excellent that they enjoy additional protection in this way.”

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