Migration and Home Affairs

European Information Exchange Model (EIXM)

In 2012, the Commission adopted a Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on the European Information Exchange Model (EIXM). EIXM took stock of the EU information exchanges landscape and recommended concrete steps on how to increase the efficiency and improve the application of existing cooperation instruments.

The main legal instruments covered by EIXM are the so-called Prüm Council Decision (2008/615/JHA) and the so-called Swedish Initiative (2006/960/JHA).

Prüm Decision

The origin of the Prüm Decision is a multilateral treaty signed in the German town of Prüm in 2005 by Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium. 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 Member States. Consequently, the Council adopted the Prüm Decision and its implementing provisions in 2008.

The Prüm Decision contains rules for operational police cooperation such as joint patrols and introduced procedures for fast and efficient data exchange in specific areas. The core of the Prüm framework lays down provisions under which EU Member States grant each other access to their automated DNA analysis files, automated fingerprint identification systems and vehicle registration data. DNA and fingerprint exchanges take place based on a "hit/no-hit" approach, which means that DNA profiles or fingerprints found at a crime scene in one EU Member State can be compared automatically 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".

Swedish Framework Decision

The Swedish Framework Decision provides a common legal framework for the effective and expeditious exchange of existing information and criminal intelligence between EU Member States' law enforcement authorities. This instrument, proposed by Sweden, was adopted as EU law in 2006. It sets out rules for the cross-border exchanges of criminal information and intelligence, ensuring procedures for cross-border data exchanges are not stricter than those applying to exchanges at national level. It regulates the conditions for exchanging information and intelligence among EU Member States, including time limits and admissible justifications for refusing to share data.

EIXM follow-up

After the adoption of EIXM in 2012, the Commission discussed comprehensively the proposed measures with the Member States, the European Parliament, the Council and relevant agencies such as Europol. As a follow-up, the Commission launched in 2014 an external evaluation study to examine the extent to which Member States had implemented the EIXM recommendations. The study concluded that valuable activities had been implemented by Member States and by Europol, but that additional work was still required. With the European Agenda on Security, the Commission highlights the core areas where further efforts are required, notably the full implementation of existing systems.