Effective cooperation between the law enforcement authorities of EU Member States is necessary in order to prevent and combat cross-border serious crimes and terrorism in the EU. The EU seeks to facilitate cooperation between Member States, with the aim of achieving a quicker, safer, and more structured cooperation. The European Commission´s Agenda on Security for the period 2015-2020 sets out the concrete tools and measures which should be used in this joint work to ensure security and tackle the pressing threats more effectively.
The EU has developed a number of tools to facilitate information exchange and operational cooperation. First of all, it manages information sharing databases, such as the most widely used Schengen Information System (SIS) which enables competent national authorities to enter and consult alerts on persons or objects. Secondly, it adopted legal instruments. The Swedish Initiative provides a common legal framework for the effective and expeditious exchange of existing information and criminal intelligence between EU Member States’ law enforcement authorities, while the Prüm Decision lays down provisions under which national authorities grant each other access to specific data (e.g. their automated DNA analysis files). The key piece of EU security legislation to better identify travelling terrorists and criminals and trace criminal network is the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive. Finally, EU specialised agencies, in particular Europol, Frontex and Eurojust, play a crucial role in supporting operational cooperation between Member States’ law enforcement authorities.
Through the following projects, Milieu has helped the European Commission assess the compliance of national laws with the requirements set out in EU law:
The gathering and use of passenger name record data collected by airlines for reservations and check-in purposes are an important law enforcement tool to prevent, detect and investigate terrorism and other serious crime. This gathering and use of passenger data has been made possible through Directive (EU) 2016/681 (the PNR Directive).
The purpose of this project, commissioned by DG HOME, is to assess the completeness and conformity of this Directive, ensuring its proper implementation across all EU Member States. Each Member State should have implemented the Directive in their own national legal systems as of May 2018. Upon the project’s completion, the European Commission will have monitored the Directive’s implementation and will have the necessary information to start infringement proceedings against non-compliant Member States.
The sharing of criminal information across law enforcement authorities of Member States in the EU better ensures EU-wide security and more effectively counters criminal activity that may span across more than one Member State. With this understanding in mind, Sweden proposed an instrument in 2006 which set out rules for the cross-border exchange of information and intelligence between law enforcement authorities of the EU. This instrument is a common legal framework known as the Swedish Initiative and was adopted by the EU as Council Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA to more effectively and expeditously exchange existing information across Member States.
Through this project, DG HOME sought to assess how and to what extent Member States had transposed the Framework Decision. This comprehensive assessment, carried out by Milieu, enabled the Commission to perform the required monitoring of Member State compliance with the obligations under the Framework Decision, and to pursue infringement procedures if needed.