Deal on faster exchange of non-EU nationals’ criminal records

Police 2018

(Unsplash, 2018)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.

Plans to create an EU database to enable EU countries to exchange non-EU citizens’ criminal records faster, were informally agreed with Council negotiators on Tuesday.

Currently, national authorities often rely solely on data on non-EU nationals’ convictions available from their own national criminal record systems. The new centralised database on third country nationals will improve the exchange of information on non-EU nationals’ criminal records throughout the EU and contribute to the EU-wide fight against cross-border crime and terrorism.

The database will complement the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), which EU countries already use to exchange information on EU citizens’ previous convictions.

The new ECRIS Third Country National (ECRIS-TCN) system, will:

  • enable national authorities to establish quickly whether any EU member state holds criminal records on a non-EU citizen,
  • contain data such as names, addresses, fingerprints and facial images (which, however, may only be used to confirm the identity of a non-EU national who has been identified based on other data), and

Parliament and Council negotiators agreed that in addition to judges and prosecutors in EU countries, Europol, Eurojust and the future European Public Prosecutor’s Office will also have access to ECRIS and the Third Country National system.

Dual nationals’ data

The ECRIS-TCN system will also include data on dual nationals who possess the nationality of a third country and of an EU country to ensure that the system is completely reliable and that individuals cannot deliberately hide past convictions simply by having two passports. The fingerprints of dual nationals can only be included in the system if they have been collected in accordance with national law during a criminal proceeding. Furthermore, MEPs managed to ensure that the benefits of including dual nationals’ information in the ECRIS-TCN will be assessed in the near future.


Rapporteur Daniel Dalton (ECR, UK) said: “Sharing information across borders is essential to crack down on crime in Europe. But current laws make it harder to access the criminal records of non-EU nationals. Our citizens will be less safe if we leave this gaping legal loophole wide open any longer. With time ticking on this matter, we need to move forward as quickly as possible.”

Next steps

The agreed text now needs to be formally approved by the Civil Liberties Committee, Parliament as a whole and the Council before entering into force.


ECRIS was put in place in 2012 to exchange information on criminal convictions in the EU. However, using the current system to check the criminal records of a non-EU citizen is cumbersome and inefficient. For example, according to the European Commission, in 2014, national authorities used information available in other countries’ criminal records only in less than five percent of conviction cases of third country nationals.







the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU and Japan agree on free-trade deal and fill the post-TPP void

The European Commission to stop Buffering

Stage set for successful 2020 Burundi elections, Foreign Minister tells General Assembly

Does the Erasmus program really contribute to the construction of a solid EU identity?

4 climate tipping points the planet is facing

London to say hello or goodbye to Brussels this week

The first new university in the UK for 40 years is taking a very different approach to education

Thousands of Syrians in ‘life and death’ struggle amid harsh conditions in remote desert camp, UN warns

5 things to know about African migration

Giving humanitarian help to migrants should not be a crime, according to the EP

‘Beyond reasonable doubt’, international court convicts notorious DR Congo rebel leader of war crimes

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Transport Industry Drive for Improved Energy Efficiency and Electro-Mobility to Stem High Growth of Emissions


A Sting Exclusive: “Education in Europe, fostering skills development inside and outside the school system”

This chart shows how the energy mix is failing in the fight against climate change

How to turn a traditional business into a platform-based success

How Britain’s backyard bird feeders are shaping evolution

WHO chief underscores need to address climate change following visit to Bahamas

In New Zealand it takes less than a day to start a business

3 ways to use digital identity systems in global supply chains

UN food aid to Yemen will fully resume after two-month break, as Houthis ‘guarantee’ delivery

A renewed agenda for Research and Innovation: Europe’s chance to shape the future

The West and Russia impose a new order on the world

Fostering intergenerational solidarity and cooperation through age-friendly environments: the right answer to Europe’s demographic challenge

This company lets you set your own salary

It’s down to cities to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2030

Judges urge Security Council to serve interests of all UN Member States

European Semester 2019 Spring Package: Commission issues recommendations for Member States to advance sustainable and inclusive economic growth

Is “Sustainable Development” a concept that integrates Health Literacy and Health Policy as a global health action?

GSMA outlines new developments for Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018

Your smartphone may know more about your mental health than you

Yemen conflict: ‘Fragile’ hopes rise, as violence decreases and life-saving humanitarian funding surges

World Pride underscores that all people are born ‘free and equal’ in dignity and human rights

International Day of the Midwife: 5 things you should know

European Youth Forum @ European Business Summit 2014: European Youth Unemployment

Ebola cases rising in DR Congo, but UN health agency cites progress in community trust-building

Investment, not debt, can kick-start an entrepreneurial Europe

Batteries included: how better storage can transform renewable energy

Malta: investigation risks being compromised while Prime Minister is in office

Banks suffocate the real economy by denying loans

‘Vaccines are safe’ and save lives, UNICEF declares, launching new #VaccinesWork campaign

Eurozone: Despite anemic growth and shaky banks marks record trade surplus

Libya: ‘Substantial civilian casualties’ in Derna, UN humanitarian chief ‘deeply concerned’

This is how Copenhagen plans to go carbon-neutral by 2025

Britain declares trade war on mainland Europe

Harnessing the power of nature in the fight against climate change

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2015: The power of an individual and how we can awaken Europe’s Youth

Does the Greek deal strengthen the Eurozone? Markets react cautiously

‘Starvation’ now a reality for displaced Syrians stranded in camp near Jordanian border

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing how we grow, buy and choose what we eat

The new EU “fiscal compact” an intimidation for all people

UN chief welcomes decision to delay formation of South Sudan unity government

Independent rights experts sound alarm at Iran protest crackdown, internet blackout

Slovakia and its failure to abide by the European law

Hollande decisively rebuffs Merkel’s and Rehn’s austerity policies

Europe can be at the heart of tech with purpose

The secret to ending war? It’s too easy: more women in peace negotiations

The European Green Deal sets out how to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, boosting the economy, improving people’s health and quality of life, caring for nature, and leaving no one behind

Steps taken to end Saudi ‘guardianship’ system for women, ‘encouraging’ start

“A divided Europe is not in China’s interests”, Ambassador Zhang of the Chinese Mission to EU welcomes Brussels

Reducing disaster risk is a good investment, and ‘the right thing to do’, says Guterres

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s