Welcome for extension of EU criminal records system

Checking the criminal records of people entering the EU marks an important step in delivering more confidence in migration, and has long been called for by European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) MEP Timothy Kirkhope.

The European Commission has today published proposals to enhance the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), which allows for the efficient exchange of information on criminal convictions between EU Member States when requested by a judge or prosecutor.

Today's proposal would extend the system to include non-EU nationals whilst improving how information is exchanged so that a judge is now able to check criminal records and fingerprints across the EU in one request, rather than 27.

ECR justice and home affairs spokesman Timothy Kirkhope said:

"If Schengen and EU free movement are to survive then we need clear and effective actions like this one which help to exchange information on criminal suspects. We have been calling for ECRIS to be extended to non-EU nationals for some time.

"We need to be sure that those people entering the EU have good intentions, and that criminals cannot enter without detection.  

"We need to restore some confidence that freedom of movement and offering humanitarian assistance can be achieved without compromising security. This increased information sharing will help, but we have a lot of work to do."