EU launches tighter checks on 'security threat' migrants
The proposals will broaden current systems which allow authorities in member states to access several security databases to investigate the identity of asylum applicants.
Under the new rules, asylum applicants will be cross-referenced against a host of new databases under the ‘European Search Portal’, which includes an EU criminal records system for third-country nationals, Europol and Interpol databases.
This controversial database holds conviction records and extensive biometric data, leading to concerns that such widespread access across the EU could be a breach of civil liberties.
All governmental and public bodies will gain full access in future to the new European Search Portal to search for information on any asylum applicant or irregular migrant stored on the platform.
However, the new rules have made some efforts to protect the data of migrants under scrutiny, according to SchengenVisaInfo.
"The Member States shall ensure that only the screening authorities responsible for the identification or verification of identity and the security check have access to the databases foreseen in Article 10 and Article 11 of this Regulation," the legal text explains.
But increasingly tough and invasive migration rules across the EU have been described as leading to the ‘criminalisation of migration’, making it impossible for migrants with legitimate asylum claims to enter member states.
The EU has long been criticised for its a “focus on securitising borders rather than offering legal pathways for migration”, EuroMed researcher Eva Baluganti told The New Arab earlier this month.