08/03/2013 - Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA)
Green light for the second-generation Schengen Information System (SIS II)
At the meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 7 and 8 March, ministers adopted two legislative acts related to the SIS II. The new system will go live on 9 April.
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The SIS II will store information on persons and objects. The information will be organised as alerts, an alert being a set of data enabling authorities to identify people or objects with a view to taking appropriate action. The system will be used by border guards, customs officers, and visa- and law-enforcement authorities throughout the Schengen area.
In addition to data relating to persons as well as to motor vehicles under surveillance, data are stored on lost, stolen or misappropriated
- identity documents
- blank identity documents and
SIS II will make it possible to insert more categories of objects:
- credit cards
- industrial equipment
Currently, 22 EU member states participate in Schengen cooperation, as well as the four non-EU associated countries Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. While Ireland and the United Kingdom are not part of the Schengen area, they do apply some of the provisions of the Schengen acquis.
The Schengen provisions include common and binding rules on visas and asylum, controls at external borders and cross-border police cooperation, for instance on organised crime involving trafficking, drugs, stolen cars and missing persons.
The new system has been extensively tested and provides enhanced functionalities, as compared with its predecessor.