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18.05.2010   MEP T. Zdanoka sceptical about Schengen data sharing

Civil Liberties Committee Member Tatjana Zdanoka says that she remains unconvinced that a revised Schengen Information System will properly deal with concerns about data protection and personal privacy.

This is a shared database that allows law enforcement authorities across the EU's Schengen Area to share information on individuals, vehicles and documents. MEPs have repeatedly expressed concerns that the database was moving from being a technical tool to a 'general system of control and surveillance'.

Further concerns exist about cost over-runs and delays in implementation.

Speaking in the parliamentary debate in Strasbourg related to the new database, Tatjana Zdanoka set out her concerns:

"From the very beginning we have been quite cautious to accept this second generation Schengen Information System. This has been due to many implications concerning data protection.

"It seems that this long saga is far from being over. We see time delays and cost over-runs, and a lack of positive results. We don’t even have a consensus on the evaluation of test results – as Austria, Germany and France don’t see them as successful.

"We have to be honest and admit that the current project might fail – and we have to discuss the alternatives. We should also investigate carefully the reasons behind this failure. If we are going to be asked to provide an additional thirty million euros in funding, then the European Parliament should have all the information necessary in order to give its informed consent.

"We must also maintain a sunset clause. We cannot continue investing money into a lifelong project. Of course, there should be certain flexibility, but we must have clear criteria for evaluation – and to react quickly, if something again goes wrong."

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