The enlargement of the European Union and the abolition of the borders between the Member States have led to security challenges. In the context of improving security, recent initiatives have focused on the exchange of law enforcement information with effect in 2008 under the “availability” principle. This principle of availability was introduced in the Prüm Treaty, also known as Schengen III. The core element of the treaty is the creation of a network of national databases to promote the exchange of information between law enforcement authorities. In particular, reciprocal access is given to Contracting States' national databases, containing DNA profiles, fingerprints and vehicle registration data. Although this initiative started as a multilateral agreement, a small group of influential countries led by Germany has successfully twisted the arms of other EU countries into integrating the provisions of the agreement into the legislative framework of the European Union under the Third Pillar. The treaty has been incorporated into a Council Decision binding on all EU member states. While the treaty represents a progress in the field of cooperation against crime, the implications of this treaty are far reaching. It raises privacy and data protection issues which will affect all EU citizens, primarily due to the absence of common legally binding data protection standards.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.