BLOG Forum
Interoperable Informations Systems In The Eu Area Of Freedom, Security And Justice


The editors of the Forum are Andrew Geddes, Deirdre Curtin and Sergio Carrera. Participation in the Forum is by invitation only. For further information, please contact Sergio Carrera.


This Blog Forum falls within the scope of the Project “Un-Owned Personal Data: Interoperable EU Borders and Transitioning Rights”. The project, coordinated by the EUI and involving the Law Department and the Migration Policy Centre (MPC), examines whether advanced technologies, inherent in interoperable information systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ), undermine the fundamental rights of third country nationals, including asylum seekers. It also explores the ways in which interconnected AFSJ databases affect the interests of security actors and professionals.

It follows and builds upon a Stakeholder Task Force co-organised by the EUI, CEPS and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) on 18 October 2019 in Brussels. The Task Force brought together a group of policy-makers and practitioners from EU institutions and agencies, national authorities, international organisations, academics and civil society organisations.


This collection of Blog Contributions explores the following themes and set of questions related to interoperability and EU information systems:

    Purpose Limitation, Migration and Criminal Justice

  • How does interoperability affect the purpose limitation principle? Does interoperability constitute a ‘point of no return’, and is it ‘Court Proof’? Does interoperability contribute towards the criminalisation of migration? Does it pose any risks to the presumption of innocence?
  • To what extent does it circumvent domestic criminal justice safeguards and domestic checks and balances by migration and asylum authorities? Do interoperable information systems offer a possibility to attach criminal justice guarantees to third-country nationals? Could interoperability become a valuable means to obtain evidence for trial purposes?
  • Interoperability and Refugees

  • What are the specific issues inherent to access by law enforcement actors to asylum seekers data? Which specific safeguards are necessary when allowing access to data from people seeking international protection? Is the extension of criminal justice approach to refugees in compliance with international refugee law, and its prohibition of non-criminalisation of refugees?
  • What are the challenges for asylum seekers data subject rights in the scope of Eurodac database and the Hotspots in Greece and Italy? What is the specific issues raised by EASO and Frontex involvement in Hotspots, in particular the identification and registration of individuals?
  • In which ways can access to justice (including complaint mechanisms) by asylum seekers be guaranteed? How can national data protection authorities effectively safeguard asylum seekers and refugee’ privacy rights in relation to border, migration and asylum authorities?
  • Interoperability, Third Country Nationals and Citizens

  • What are the effects of interoperability on data subject rights, both citizens and third country nationals? Does it help in addressing ‘identity fraud’? Does interoperability create discrimination between EU citizens and third country nationals? Does interoperability facilitate a generalised veil of suspicion or treating third country nationals more like potential criminal suspects in comparison to nationals?
  • Does interoperability increase the risk of stigmatising or indirect discrimination towards certain groups in society? Are EU citizens, or specific categories of EU citizens, affected by existing and future EU information systems? What are the mechanisms through which discrimination may take place in light of interoperability, e.g. profiling, risk, statistical discrimination? What venues exist for justice before national and EU agencies?