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

IRS Drops Attack For Six Years – No Evidence of Jurisdiction
2015-04-24 20:29
A big congrats to a friend I’ve been working with for several years, he stood up to the predators commonly called the “IRS” and they dropped their attack. Thanks also for providing me with the proof below. The criminals called the “IRS” initiated an attack claiming my friend was required to file six tax returns, or explain how he made ...
Into Eternity - Finland's 100,000 Year Massive Underground Spent Nuclear Fuel Program
2015-04-24 20:49
Into Eternity is a documentary about a deep geological repository for nuclear waste. The concept of long-term underground storage for radioactive waste has been explored since the 1950s. The inner part of the Russian doll-like storage canisters is to be composed of copper. Hence in the case of Onkalo it is tightly linked to experiments on copper corrosion in running ...
SPLC Accuses Oath Keepers of Inciting “Armed Confrontation” Over Sugar Pine Mine
2015-04-24 20:22
The Southern Poverty Law Center has accused Oath Keepers of inciting an armed confrontation with BLM authorities over the Sugar Pine Mine dispute in Oregon, despite the fact that the organization has explicitly stated that it is not promoting armed confrontation with the feds. In an article provocatively posted on the organization’s ‘Hatewatch’ section entitled Oath Keepers Descend Upon Oregon with ...
PayPal Asserts Copyright Ownership Over All Intellectual Property of its Users
2015-04-24 19:59
In an alarming new update to its user agreement released this week, PayPal has announced that it will assert copyright ownership over all intellectual property of anyone who uses its payment services. The update comes in the aftermath of the announcement that eBay and PayPal will split apart into two separate companies. Under the heading “Intellectual Property,” PayPal announces that it is ...
Straight pride fliers removed from YSU campus
2015-04-24 19:41
Leaders with the Student Government Association at Youngstown State University said they decided to act quickly this week when posters showed up on campus promoting “Straight Pride” week next month. The posters contained profanity, which our station has blurred for viewers. The posters promote the event as a way of not showing the differences between students. Campus leaders said while they believe ...
More News »