19 January 2016

Commission proposes to strengthen the exchange of criminal records on non-EU citizens

Today, the European Commission proposed to facilitate the exchange of criminal records of non-EU citizens in the EU by upgrading the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS). This is a key action of the European Agenda on Security, which aims to improve cooperation between national authorities in the fight against terrorism and other forms of serious cross-border crime. This initiative will ensure that ECRIS, which is already widely used for exchange of criminal records of EU citizens, will be used to its full potential.

Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: "The Paris attacks in November confirmed the urgent need for more robust and seamless judicial cooperation throughout the EU. ECRIS is an important tool against cross-border crime, as it enables Member States to exchange information on previous convictions anywhere in the EU. Today we propose to upgrade this tool to ensure easier access to the convictions of non-EU citizens ".

ECRIS, established in 2012, enables national judicial authorities to receive information on previous criminal convictions in other Member States either for court proceedings or other purposes like criminal investigations. This allows for a rapid and efficient exchange of information between national authorities, contributing to improving the prevention and fight against cross-border crime and terrorism. Member States currently send through ECRIS around 288,000 requests per year on previous criminal convictions across the EU.

For more information: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-87_en.htm