Germany seeks to modernize policing across EU
2007-01-23 0:00

By Judy Dempsey | iht.com

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Monday that Germany would seek to make increased cross-border cooperation of the police and judicial authorities, particularly the exchange of DNA databases, part of European Union law despite strong opposition led by Britain.

"Our aim is to create a modern police information network for more effective crime control throughout Europe," Schäuble said during a meeting of EU interior and justice ministers. It was the first informal gathering since Germany took over the EU presidency Jan. 1 and the first attended by the newest members, Bulgaria and Romania.

Seven EU countries already coordinate on cross-border issues including terrorism and illegal migration as part of the so-called Prüm treaty, which the seven signed in May 2005. The treaty allows comparison of DNA profiles, fingerprints and vehicle registration information, as well as the exchange of personal data. The signatories are Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Spain, although France, the Netherlands and Belgium have yet to ratify the treaty.

Schäuble said Monday he wanted the Prüm accord to be enshrined in EU law, which would require all member states to share such data.

But Britain, Ireland, Poland and the Czech Republic oppose the idea, questioning not only the cost but also whether the European Commission would gain more power over police and judicial issues at the expense of member states.

Responsibility for justice and interior matters straddles the rights of individual states and the commission, but member states can veto new measures.

"Interior affairs have always been jealously guarded by the individual member states," said Andreas Mauer, an EU expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin. "I am skeptical that Schäuble will be able to get the Prüm treaty transposed into the legal framework of the EU. The opposition would be too great because it raises many questions, specifically the democratic control over these databases and how much power would be passed to Brussels."

Even Brigitte Zypries, Germany's justice minister, voiced skepticism. "Yes, I continue to oppose the Prüm treaty becoming part of the EU law," she said. The Justice Ministry wants stringent controls over how the databases are used and how access is allowed.

British officials said Monday they had several reservations about the plan, notably its cost. They also opposed the use of sky marshals on commercial aircraft to thwart possible terrorist attacks, a measure the Prüm treaty members support.

Schäuble brushed aside concerns about the expense, saying it had cost Berlin only €930,000, or $1.2 million, to create such a database.

Frank Fahey, Ireland's state secretary for justice, equality and law reform, said that unless London backed the German initiative, it would be impossible for Ireland to accept it because of Dublin's special police cooperation and exchange of extensive information with Britain.

Poland and the Czech Republic, which with Britain also oppose greater political integration of the 27-member bloc, supported London's objections.

Schäuble said police cooperation among the Prüm treaty countries was yielding results nonetheless.

"For example, under the treaty, Austria and Germany have been able to check the contents of their national DNA databases against each other since last December, the first time that countries granted each other access to their national police databases," Schäuble said. He added that Finland, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia have said they intended to sign the Prüm treaty.

With growing support for closer police cooperation, Schäuble said he would begin formal discussions next month with justice and interior ministers to consider how the treaty could be enacted into EU law.

Article from: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/01/15/news/germany.php



Related Articles
The Treaty of Prüm and the Principle of Loyalty
Strategic cooperation agreement between Europol and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia signed in Dresden
EU faces split on police powers
Prum Convention (Schengen III)


Latest News from our Front Page

IQ, Psy Ops and the "Civilization" of the Scam
2015-05-27 2:27
Cognitive dissonance is the firewall that exists in most minds when confronted with a challenge to their basic beliefs about the world. As it is human nature to avoid admitting being in error or having been duped, for most humans the ego zealously flees the admission to oneself of significant error.Challenges to our worldviews or paradigms of belief are also ...
"Europe Could be Overrun with White South Africans"
2015-05-26 23:05
Edited by Red Ice Dear Madam Merkel: We want our brothers and sisters to come home! Hundreds of thousands of sub-Saharan Africans are pouring into Europe, stressing the economy and social services, causing insane rates of crime and threatening to crush society in its entirety. Arab Moslems also continue to pour in under the guise of "asylum” and are continuing to threaten ...
Increasing Cosmic Rays
2015-05-26 23:35
Driving Force in Climate Changes, Volcanos and Earthquakes Back in 1996 Danish physicists suggested that cosmic rays, energetic particles from space, are important in the formation of clouds. Since then, experiments in Copenhagen and elsewhere have demonstrated that cosmic rays actually help small clusters of molecules to form. By firing a particle beam into a cloud chamber, physicists in Denmark and ...
Swede Has Had Enough
2015-05-26 22:21
Description from YouTube: A Swedish man reached the absolute end of what he can take anymore and tells a few truths to Swedish politicians. The man is the founder of a new political party called Riksdemokraterna. Source: youtube.com
'Is this white enough for you?' Dutch immigrant children rally against segregation
2015-05-26 22:37
Immigrant children and their parents in two Amsterdam neighborhoods took to the streets on Friday asking for families to enroll their "white" children in local schools, which are becoming increasingly segregated. The 100 or so schoolchildren - mostly from Africa and the Middle East - took part in a rally, AFP reported. They were wearing bright wight t-shirts imprinted bearing the ...
More News »