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Identification of applicants (EURODAC)

EURODAC makes it easier for EU States to determine responsibility for examining an asylum application by comparing fingerprint datasets.

What is EURODAC?

The EURODAC Regulation establishes an EU asylum fingerprint database. (The previous version of the Regulation is still valid until 20 July 2015 when the new one becomes applicable). When someone applies for asylum, no matter where they are in the EU, their fingerprints are transmitted to the EURODAC central system. EURODAC has been operating since 2003 and has proved a very successful IT tool.

Some updates were however required, in particular to reduce the delay of transmission by some Member States, to address data protection concerns and to help combat terrorism and serious crime.

Key achievements

The new Regulation improves the regular functioning of EURODAC.

  • It sets new time limits for fingerprint data to be transmitted, reducing the time which elapses between the taking and sending of fingerprints to the Central Unit of EURODAC.
  • It also ensures full compatibility with the latest asylum legislation and better addresses data protection requirements.
  • Until now, the EURODAC database could only be used for asylum purposes. The new Regulation now allows national police forces and Europol to compare fingerprints linked to criminal investigations with those contained in EURODAC. This will take place under strictly controlled circumstances and only for the purpose of the prevention, detection and investigation of serious crimes and terrorism.
    • Specific safeguards include a requirement to check all available criminal records databases first and limiting searches only to the most serious crimes, such as murder and terrorism.
    • In addition, prior to making a EURODAC check, law enforcement authorities must undertake a comparison of fingerprints against the Visa Information System (where permitted).
    • Law enforcement checks may not be made in a systematic way, but only as a last resort when all the conditions for access are fulfilled.
    • No data received from EURODAC may be shared with third countries.

Additional tools




Glossary

Stateless person

Person who is not considered as national by any State under the operation of its law.

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Non-EU national

Any person not having the nationality of an EU State.

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Identification

The process of determining a person's identity through a database search against multiple sets of data (one-to...

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External EU border

An EU States’ land borders, including river and lake borders, sea borders and their airports, river ports, sea ports ...

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Eurodac

An informatics (IT) system, the purpose of which, via the collection, transmission and comparison of fingerprints ...

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Dublin Regulation

Lays down the criteria and mechanisms for determining the EU State responsible for examining an application for...

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Database

A logical collection of information that is interrelated and that is managed and stored as a unit, for example in the ...

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Citizenship

The particular legal bond between an individual and his or her State, acquired by birth or naturalisation, whether by ...

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Border crossing

The physical act of crossing a border either at a border crossing point or another point along the border.

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Biometric

A measurable unique, physical characteristic or personal behavioural trait used to recognize the identity, or verify ...

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Asylum shopping

The phenomenon where an asylum seeker applies for asylum in more than one EU State or chooses one EU State ...

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Asylum application

An application made by a non-EU national or a stateless person that can be understood as a request for international protection from an EU State, under the Geneva Convention. Any application for international protection is presumed to be an application for asylum unless a non-EU national or a stateless person explicitly requests another kind of protection that can be applied for separately.

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Asylum applicant

A non-EU national or a stateless person who has made an application for asylum in respect of which a final decision has not yet been taken.

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Asylum

A form of protection given by a State, on its territory, based on the principle of non-refoulement and internationally ...

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Acquisition of citizenship

Any mode of becoming a national, i.e. by birth or at any time after birth, automatic or non-automatic, based on ...

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