Help Print this page 

Summaries of EU Legislation

Title and reference
Stepping up cross-border cooperation (Prüm Decision)

Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.
Multilingual display
Text

Stepping up cross-border cooperation (Prüm Decision)

 

SUMMARY OF:

Decision 2008/615/JHA — cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DECISION?

It aims to improve cross-border cooperation between EU countries’ police and judicial authorities to combat terrorism and cross-border crime more effectively. It focuses particularly on automated exchanges of information. It also focuses on major events and on fighting terrorism.

The decision stems from a multilateral treaty signed in 2005 by Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria. It has been transformed into a legal instrument binding all EU countries. The Council subsequently adopted the Prüm decision and its implementing rules.

KEY POINTS

The decision sets out rules with regard to:

  • the automated access to DNA profiles, dactyloscopic data* and certain national vehicle registration data;
  • supply of data in relation to major events;
  • supply of information in order to prevent terrorist offences;
  • other measures for stepping up cross-border police cooperation.

Establishment of national databases and automated access to data

  • EU countries must establish national DNA analysis files for the purpose of investigating criminal offences.
  • Reference data, consisting of the non-coding part of the DNA* and of a reference number that does not enable an individual to be identified, must be made available to other EU countries to carry out automated searches*.
  • Searches are performed via national contact points by comparing DNA profiles*, but only on the basis of individual cases and in a hit/no-hit* manner.
  • EU countries must also make available reference data from the national automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS).
  • The searches are carried out by comparing dactyloscopic data and, similarly to DNA searches, only in individual cases on a hit/no-hit basis.
  • National contact points must also be given access to certain national vehicle registration data via automated online searches.

Supply of data relating to major events

  • In relation to any major events involving more than one EU country, the countries concerned must provide each other with non-personal data*, as required for the purpose of preventing criminal offences and maintaining public order and security.
  • Personal data may be supplied only if the data subjects are considered a threat to public order and security or if it is believed that they will commit criminal offences at the events. The data may only be used in relation to the event it was provided for and must be deleted once it has served its purpose, but no later than 1 year after it was supplied.

Supply of information to fight terrorism

In individual cases and with certain restrictions, EU countries may provide the following data to each other to prevent terrorist attacks:

  • surname and first names;
  • date and place of birth;
  • description of the conditions leading to the supposition that criminal offences will be committed.

Other measures for enhancing cross-border police cooperation

  • EU countries can carry out joint patrols and other joint operations to prevent criminal offences and to maintain public order and security on a given EU country’s territory.
  • EU countries are to provide mutual assistance to each other in cases of mass gatherings and other comparable major events, disasters and serious accidents.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DECISION APPLY?

It has applied since 26 August 2008.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

KEY TERMS

Dactyloscopic data: fingerprint images, images of fingerprint latents (latents are prints which are invisible to the naked eye and must be professionally analysed), palm prints, palm print latents and templates of such images that are stored and dealt with in an automated database.
Non-coding part of DNA: chromosome regions that are not expressed genetically, i.e. not known to provide for any functional properties of an organism.
Automated searching: an online access procedure for consulting the databases of one, several, or all of the EU countries.
DNA profile: a letter or number code that represents a set of identification characteristics of the non-coding part of an analysed human DNA sample.
Hit/no-hit procedure: parties grant each other limited access to the reference data in their national DNA and fingerprint databases. They also grant the right to use these data to conduct automated checks of fingerprints and DNA profiles. The personal information related to the reference data is not available to the requesting party.
Non-personal data: data containing individual DNA profiles which may be used to establish a match or ‘hit’, but which do not reveal the identity of the data subject.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Council Decision 2008/615/JHA of 23 June 2008 on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime (OJ L 210, 6.8.2008, pp. 1-11)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/617 of 27 March 2017 on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to DNA data in Greece (OJ L 89, 1.4.2017, pp. 4-5)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/618 of 27 March 2017 on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to vehicle registration data in Denmark (OJ L 89, 1.4.2017, pp. 6-7)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/943 of 18 May 2017 on the automated data exchange with regard to vehicle registration data in Malta, Cyprus and Estonia, and replacing Decisions 2014/731/EU, 2014/743/EU and 2014/744/EU (OJ L 142, 2.6.2017, pp. 84-86)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/944 of 18 May 2017 on the automated data exchange with regard to dactyloscopic data in Latvia, and replacing Decision 2014/911/EU (OJ L 142, 2.6.2017, pp. 87-88)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/945 of 18 May 2017 on the automated data exchange with regard to DNA data in Slovakia, Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Cyprus, Poland, Sweden, Malta and Belgium and replacing Decisions 2010/689/EU, 2011/472/EU, 2011/715/EU, 2011/887/EU, 2012/58/EU, 2012/299/EU, 2012/445/EU, 2012/673/EU, 2013/3/EU, 2013/148/EU, 2013/152/EU and 2014/410/EU (OJ L 142, 2.6.2017, pp. 89-92)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/946 of 18 May 2017 on the automated data exchange with regard to dactyloscopic data in Slovakia, Bulgaria, France, Czech Republic, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Hungary, Cyprus, Estonia, Malta, Romania and Finland and replacing Decisions 2010/682/EU, 2010/758/EU, 2011/355/EU, 2011/434/EU, 2011/888/EU, 2012/46/EU, 2012/446/EU, 2012/672/EU, 2012/710/EU, 2013/153/EU, 2013/229/EU and 2013/792/EU (OJ L 142, 2.6.2017, pp. 93-96)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/947 of 18 May 2017 on the automated data exchange with regard to vehicle registration data in Finland, Slovenia, Romania, Poland, Sweden, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Hungary and replacing Decisions 2010/559/EU, 2011/387/EU, 2011/547/EU, 2012/236/EU, 2012/664/EU, 2012/713/EU, 2013/230/EU, 2013/692/EU and 2014/264/EU (OJ L 142, 2.6.2017, pp. 97-99)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/1866 of 12 October 2017 on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to vehicle registration data in the Czech Republic (OJ L 266, 17.10.2017, pp. 6-7)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/1867 of 12 October 2017 on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to dactyloscopic data in Portugal (OJ L 266, 17.10.2017, pp. 8-9)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/1868 of 12 October 2017 on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to dactyloscopic data in Greece (OJ L 266, 17.10.2017, pp. 10-11)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/254 of 12 February 2016 on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to vehicle registration data (VRD) in Latvia (OJ L 47, 24.2.2016, pp. 8-9)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/2047 of 18 November 2016 on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to DNA data in Denmark (OJ L 318, 24.11.2016, pp. 8-9)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/2048 of 18 November 2016 on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to dactyloscopic data in Denmark (OJ L 318, 24.11.2016, pp. 10-11)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/2009 of 10 November 2015 on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to dactyloscopic data in Poland (OJ L 294, 11.11.2015, pp. 70-71)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/2049 of 10 November 2015 on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to dactyloscopic data in Sweden (OJ L 300, 17.11.2015, pp. 15-16)

Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/2050 of 10 November 2015 on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to dactyloscopic data in Belgium (OJ L 300, 17.11.2015, pp. 17-18)

Council Decision 2010/482/EU of 26 July 2010 on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and Iceland and Norway on the application of certain provisions of Council Decision 2008/516/JHA on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime and Council Decision 2008/616/JHA on the implementation of Decision 2008/615/JHA on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime, and the Annex thereto (OJ L 238, 9.9.2010, pp. 1-2)

Council Decision 2008/616/JHA of 23 June 2008 on the implementation of Decision 2008/615/JHA on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime (OJ L 210, 6.8.2008, pp. 12-72)

last update 16.01.2018

Top