Statewatch article: RefNo# 37205
Council documents: Manual on law enforcement information Exchange, Exit entry, Visas and Japan: Mutual Legal Assistance statistics
Statewatch News Online, October 2016
- To: Working Party on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX): Working Party on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX) No. prev. doc.: 6704/16 Subject: Manual on Law Enforcement Information Exchange - Draft update 2016 (LIMITE doc no: 11794-16, pdf)

"The Manual on Law Enforcement Information Exchange (6704/16), drafted in the framework of the Information Management Strategy (IMS) for EU internal security, aims at supporting, streamlining and facilitating cross-border in formation exchange. Since the manual is intended as a tool for police officers working in this area, both structure and content of the manual are focussed on the practical day-to-day cooperation between national authorities involved in information exchange, and their training purposes.....

The update for 2016 has to take account of the new legislation adopted in 2016, that is the Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive and the Data Protection Directive, and to changes to the national factsheets. However, for the sake of readability and in order to deal with the update exercise in the most pragmatic way, the current draft only deals with changes concerning Part II (General Information) of the manual and sets out the information about the new legislation....

chapter 1.12 of the updated manual would set out information about Passenger Information Units (PIUs), the new communication channel in the framework of the PNR Directive, whereas chapter 3.16 would set out information about the PNR legislation in general."


Passenger Information Unit (PIU)

"The processing of PNR data serves mainly the assessment of passengers in order to identify persons who require further examination by law enforcement authorities. The directive applies to extra-EU flights and may be applied to intra-EU flights as well if a Member State decides to do so.

PNR data should be compared against various databases in order to support the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime. The assessment of PNR data facilitates the identification of persons who were, prior to such assessment, unsuspected of involvement in terrorist offences or such crime. In line with EU data protection policy, the processing of such data should be proportionate to the specific security goals pursued by the Directive."


Advance Passenger Information (API)

"The directive aims at improving border controls and combating illegal immigration. To that end, the directive requires the Member States to establish an obligation for air carriers to communicate certain information concerning their travellers in advance of their entering the European Union Such information is referred to as Advance Passenger Information (API). Under certain conditions and circumstances, Member States may also use API data for law enforcement purposes."

Data Protection Directive (EU) 2016/680

"Directive (EU) 2016/680, which repeals Council Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA, lays down the specific rules relating to:

the protection of natural persons, whatever their nationality or place of residence, with regard to the processing, whether by automated means or otherwise, of personal data by the police or other law enforcement authorities within the remit of their activities, and

the free flow, of personal data between competent authorities, and aims at ensuring the same level of protection for natural person through legally enforceable rights throughout the Union and to prevent divergences hampering the exchange of personal data between competent authorities."

"The activities of law enforcement authorities focus mainly on the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences, including police activities. Such activities can also include police activities at demonstrations, major sporting events and riots. They also include maintaining law and order as a task conferred on them where necessary to safeguard against and prevent threats to public security and to fundamental interests of the society which may lead to a criminal offence."


See previous document with full-text of: Manual on Law Enforcement Information Exchange LIMITE doc no: 6704-16, 391 pages, pdf)

- EU Asylum Agency: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Union Agency for Asylum and repealing Regulation (EU) No 439/2010 (LIMITE do no:11944-16, pdf):

"The proposal aims to strengthen the role of EASO and develop it into an agency which facilitates the implementation and improves the functioning of CEAS. The Agency is one of the tools that can be used to effectively address the structural weaknesses of CEAS that have been further exacerbated by the recent large-scale arrival of migrants and asylum seekers to the EU....

While a large majority of Member States welcomed the general aim of the proposal to strengthen the role of EASO, it is clear from the discussions held that several aspects of the proposal need further clarification...

Member States expressed a number of concerns regarding in particular the mechanism for monitoring and assessing the asylum and reception systems of Member States that the Agency is tasked to establish (Articles 13 to 15). Several Member States indicated that the role suggested to the proposed Agency in this respect is too broad and the obligations of Member States seem too excessive. In addition, Member States considered that they should have a greater and more active role in the monitoring exercise..."


- JAPAN MLA: EU-Japan Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement - Summary of replies to the questionnaire on the application of the 2009 EU-Japan Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance (LIMITE doc no: 10783-REV-1-16, pdf): High;y detailed inflormation from Member States:

"On 14 March 2016, the Slovak delegation submitted doc. 6935/16, containing a questionnaire on the application of the 2009 EU-Japan Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance (OJ L 39, 12.2.2010, p. 20).

25 Member States provided a reply to the General Secretariat (BE, BG, CZ, DE, EL, ES, EE, FR, HR, IE, IT, CY, LV, LT, LU, HU, NL, AT, PL, PT, SK, SI, FI, SE, UK).
A summary of the replies provided is set out in the Annex."


- VISAS TRILOGUE: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (revision of the suspension mechanism) (First reading) Presidency debriefing on the outcome of the trilogue (LIMITE doc no: 11282-16, pdf):

"The aim of this Regulation is to reinforce the current suspension mechanism, which has never been triggered, making it more flexible, and lowering the threshold for action, by making it easier for Member States to notify circumstances leading to a possible suspension and by enabling the Com-mission to trigger the mechanism on its own initiative...

For all cases where an act must be adopted in order to trigger the suspension mechanism, the Coun-cil follows the Commission proposal, which foresees that implementing acts are to be adopted in accordance with Article 291 TFEU.
However, the EP in its report insists on having recourse to delegated acts as provided for in Article 290 TFEU. At the trilogue, the EP maintained that position very strongly. The EP saw this as a part of a horizontal approach of the EP with respect to delegated acts, and also referred to recent ECJ jurisprudence. The EP argued that only a delegated act would put the EP and the Council on an equal footing, and give the EP influence on the suspension of visa exemptions.

On the other hand, the Council insists on the use of implementing acts, which can only be adopted by the Commission when supported by a qualified majority of Member States (examination proce-dure). This also avoids the risk of a subsequent rejection by the EP or the Council of the adopted measure, which would be possible when using delegated acts. Furthermore, an implementing act allows for a swift reintroduction of the visa obligation."


- EXIT-ENTRY SYSTEM: From: Bulgarian and Romanian delegations: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) 2016/399 as regards the use of the Entry/Exit System - The calculation of the duration of stay in the framework of the automated calculator (LIMITE doc no: 11893-16, pdf):

"The main concerns for Member States not fully applying the Schengen acquis is that the proposal does not clearly specify if the automated calculator will calculate the duration of stay of third country nationals on their territories, as the text makes a separation, in the current version of Article 10(4a)1, between the duration of stays in Member States fully applying Schengen acquis and periods of stay in Member States not yet fully applying the Schengen acquis."

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