On 19 January, the European Commission proposed a directive enhancing the existing European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) that allows information on criminal sentences to be exchanged.
ECRIS should contain a new mechanism applicable only to third-country nationals, based on comparing fingerprints to ensure their unambiguous identification. The proposal addresses to a large extent the safeguards promoted in the FRA opinion of 4 December 2015. This includes facilitating access to criminal record information for those included in the system and measures to eliminate false matches. In relation to the different treatment of EU and third-country nationals, it also highlights the principle of equality before the law. Some issues raised by FRA have been referred to in an explanatory memorandum but not addressed. These have been left to the discretion of EU Member States. Examples include the possible adverse effects in the field of migration and asylum or considering the impact on third-country national children.