Eurodac establishes an EU asylum fingerprint database enabling Member States to compare the fingerprints of asylum applicants in oder to see whether they have previously applied for asylum or entered the EU irregularly via another Member State. This makes it easier for EU countries to determine responsibility for examining an asylum application.
Since it was established in 2003, Eurodac has proved to be a very important tool providing fingerprint comparison evidence to assist with determining the EU countries responsible for examining an asylum application made in the EU.
It sets time limits for fingerprint data to be transmitted, ensuring that the asylum applicant and/or the person apprehended in connection with the illegal crossing of the external border is timely registered in Eurodac.
It also ensures full compatibility with the asylum legislation and complies with data protection requirements.
The Regulation allows EU Member States’ law enforcement authorities and Europol to compare fingerprints linked to criminal investigations with those contained in Eurodac, only for the purpose of the prevention, detection and investigation of serious crimes and terrorism and under strictly controlled circumstances and specific safeguards.
Targeted amendments to the Eurodac Regulation were presented in the form of a recast proposal, which extended the scope of the current Regulation to wider migration purposes. Namely, it allows Member States to also monitor secondary movements of irregular migrants who have not sought asylum and to use that information to help facilitate re-documentation and return procedures. During the negotiations of the proposal, co-legislators further expanded the changes to be introduced in the text. Main changes include:
The Pact on Migration and Asylum presented in September 2020 aimed at a broadening of the scope of the current Dublin Regulation proposed by the Regulation on Asylum and Migration Management. This makes Eurodac all the more necessary to ensure an efficient management of the necessary information. For this purpose, the new amended proposal for a Eurodac Regulation aims to create a fully-fledged common migration and asylum European database to support EU policies on asylum, resettlement and irregular migration.