Ten organisations, including Statewatch, have required the European Commission to refrain from proceeding with its plan for a security-related information system between frontline officers in the bloc and key partner countries.
According to EU Commission, the aim of this plan is to allow reciprocal police as well as border guards to access data for the Member States of the EU and non-member states alike in real-time so they are able to get needed information without delay, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In addition, the same has stressed that such a move would benefit both parties as arrangements between EU Member States and other countries would allow for information to be shared for investigative purposes, taking this initiative one step further.
“There is no EU mechanism in place to systematically make critical and actionable partner-country sourced information available directly and in real-time to frontline border guards or police officers in the Member States,” the Commission stated.
Nonetheless, despite the Commission saying that another system would ensure increased security in the bloc as frontline officers would be able to take action immediately in case someone represents a threat, the initiative has not been welcomed by Statewatch and nine other organisations.
The organisations said that the documentation published by the Commission fails to demonstrate the need for this scheme. Moreover, the organisations have also said that the documentation increases the risk of data being obtained via human rights violations being used by the Member States of the EU.
The same highlighted that such a scheme might encourage political repression as data will be shared on suspected dissidents and will further support the externalisation of the EU borders.
Thus, the organisations have called for the plan to be scrapped and, at the same time, have emphasised that there are already a number of initiatives that seek to facilitate information-sharing between EU and third countries.
“A number of these have been extensively criticised by civil society for posing threats to asylum procedures and the safety of third-country nationals who have sought protection from corrupt regimes in European Union Member States. This raises doubts as to the necessity of this new initiative and the sufficiency of the safeguards proposed with it,” a part of the organisations’ conclusion reads.
The organisations further noted that case studies from the Western Balkan and MENA regions have already shown that such mechanisms have devastating effects on the fundamental right of individuals on the move.