SCHENGEN INFORMATION SYSTEM: SECOND GENERATION
(SIS II) ESTABLISHMENT, OPERATION AND USE (9942/05, 9943/05,
Letter from Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP, Minister
of State, Home Office to the Chairman
Thank you for your letter of 12 January 2006
about the draft Decision and Draft Regulation on the establishment,
operation and use of the second generation Schengen Information
System (SIS II). I am sorry for the delay in replying. You will
have noted that revised drafts of both the Council Regulation
and Council Decision were recently deposited for scrutiny. I hoped
to reply to the issues raised in your letter at the same time
as submitting the explanatory memoranda on these documents. However,
they contain such substantial changes to the original Commission
proposals that I regret that we will not be in a position to submit
those until after the recess.
I can, however, give you an update of the progress
made on these dossiers during the UK Presidency, during which
a first reading of both proposals was completed and good progress
was made in identifying the most important issues, in particular
the scope of SIS II; its management; data protection and the extent
to which the text of the Schengen Convention should be rewritten.
Revisions of both the Regulation and the Decision were produced
shortly after the end of our Presidency, but these were immediately
superseded by the Austrian proposals and have not been discussed
by the working group.
The new texts revert in large part to the text
of the original Schengen Convention. For example, to pick up on
the two points raised in your letter, the purpose for which SIS
II data may be used (Article 21 of the Regulation) now more closely
reflects Article 102 of the Schengen Convention and the revised
draft has removed the possibility of access for the purpose of
the facilitating the Procedures and Qualification Directives.
Both points will be subject to further discussion.
Due to administrative oversight I regret that
the letter to the Information Commissioner seeking his views on
the original Commission proposals was not sent, contrary to the
advice you were given in November. His views are now being sought
on the revised proposals and I will forward these to you when
they are available.
28 February 2006
Letter from the Chairman to Rt Hon Hazel
Sub-Committee F (Home Affairs) of the House
of Lords Committee on the European Union examined the revised
proposals for a second generation Schengen Information System
(SIS II) at a meeting on 29 March.
We are grateful for your comprehensive Explanatory
Memorandum and for the annexes which set out the Commission's
original proposal alongside the revised text. The Committee agrees
that the Decision and Regulation should reflect the terms of the
Schengen Convention more closely and broadly welcomes the revised
texts. We are particularly glad to see that Article 21 of the
revised Regulation clearly states the purpose for which SIS II
data may be used in accordance with the purpose limitation provisions
in Article 102 of the Convention. We also welcome the fact that
the possibility of access to asylum authorities for the purpose
of facilitating the Asylum Procedures and Qualification Directives
has been removed in the current draft. We do not agree that such
authorities should be granted access to SIS data as a source of
information for their own purposes (such as determining the admissibility
of an asylum application). We hope that the strict purpose limitation
principle for the processing of SIS data will be maintained when
the Regulation is finally approved. We would be grateful for progress
reports on the further negotiations.
We understand from your letter of 28 February
2006 that the Information Commissioner will now be consulted.
We regret the failure to consult him on the previous drafts and
hope to receive his views on the revised proposals. The Committee
has decided to clear the earlier drafts (documents 9942/05 and
9943/05), but will keep these documents under scrutiny.
29 March 2006
188 Correspondence with Ministers, 45th Report of
Session 2005-06, HL Paper 243, pp 553-554. Back