An independent regulatory Agency for EU Member States
The Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice was reviewed on April 11, 2011, by the Council of the European Union. A political agreement was found in June 2011.
The commission for European affairs of the French National Assembly adopted the Proposal for a Regulation on April 6, 2010. On this occasion, it highlighted the fact that the Proposal did not foresee the location of the future Agency’s headquarters and that France was ready to apply to be the host country.
The Proposal consists in establishing a single operational management structure, which has legal personality, responsible for the long-term operational management of the Visa Information System (VIS), the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II), Eurodac and other large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice.
It would thus be a “centre of excellence” with specialized operational staff.
Scope of the new EU body’s competences
The Visa Information System (VIS) will enable consulates and other competent authorities of the Member States to exchange visa information for the purposes in particular of facilitating the visa application procedure, preventing “visa shopping”, contributing to the fight against fraud, assisting in the identification of third country nationals, and contributing to the prevention of threats to the internal security of any of the Member States.
The second-generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) aims to contribute to ensuring a high level of security within the area of freedom, security and justice of the European Union, and to applying the provisions relating to the movement of persons in their territories.
Eurodac, the IT system for comparing fingerprints of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, was created to facilitate the application of the Dublin Convention, which aimed to establish a mechanism for determining responsibility for asylum applications lodged in one of the EU Member States.
The Agency shall be responsible for the tasks relating to the Communication Infrastructure concerning Eurodac for the comparison of fingerprints.
In addition, the Agency shall perform tasks related to the training of experts on VIS and SIS II including training related to the exchange of supplementary information, as well as monitoring of research activities and implementation of pilot schemes upon specific and precise request of the Commission.
The main body governing the Agency shall be a Management Board with an adequate representation of the Member States and the Commission.
The representation of Member States should reflect each Member State’s Treaty rights and obligations. The countries associated with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis and the Eurodac related measures shall also participate in the Agency.
(1) Confer on a dedicated, specialized organization the overall management and the operation of the information systems;
(2) Ensure a high level of efficiency and responsiveness for the development and operational management of other potential systems.
The Agency should also be responsible for the operational aspects of other large-scale IT systems that could be developed in the area of freedom, security and justice.
This would be subject to legislative instruments establishing such systems that in turn would provide the Agency with the respective competences.