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Prüm Decision

The swift and efficient exchange of precise information is of fundamental importance for effective international police cooperation. The Prüm framework aims to introduce procedures for promoting fast, efficient and inexpensive means of data exchange. EU States grant each other access rights to their automated DNA analysis files, automated fingerprint identification systems and vehicle registration data.


Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium signed the Prüm Treaty in the German town of Prüm in 2005. Given the considerable interest from the other EU States, the Commission supported the German initiative to transform this Treaty into an instrument binding all EU States. Consequently, the Council adopted the Prüm Decision and its implementing provisions in 2008.

Exchange of information

The Prüm Decision provides for the automated exchange of DNA, fingerprints and vehicle registration data, as well as for other forms of police cooperation between the 27 EU States. Access to DNA profiles and fingerprints held in national databases is granted on a "hit/no-hit" basis, which means that DNA profiles or fingerprints found at a crime scene in one EU State can be compared with profiles held in the databases of other EU States. Car registration data (including licence plates and chassis numbers) are exchanged through national platforms that are linked to the online application "EUCARIS".


The Prüm Decision also provides for the prevention of criminal offences at large sporting events (such as football matches), the prevention of terrorist offences through the supply of information and the establishment of joint patrols. EU States had to implement these provisions by August 2009.

The provisions on the automated exchange of DNA profiles, fingerprints and car registration data must be implemented by August 2011, which poses EU States a significantly larger challenge in terms of IT development.


The Commission supports the implementation of the Prüm Decision by facilitating exchanges of information and experience between EU States and by financing relevant projects in the context of its programme for the Prevention of and Fight against Crime (ISEC).

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Related legislation
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Specific Programme "Prevention of and Fight against Crime" (ISEC)

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