Commission Rejects UK’s Plans to Remedy Deficiencies in Use of SIS
In 2017, the Council recommended that the UK address several serious deficiencies in the country’s application of the Schengen acquis pertaining to the Schengen Information System (SIS). On 27 May 2020, the Commission stated in an assessment report that the action plan tabled by the UK to remedy the deficiencies identified during the 2017 evaluation is not adequate. The report states as follows:
“This is mainly because the implementation timelines of at least 10 of the recommendations are very lengthy and cannot be considered acceptable. In addition, the UK challenges nine recommendations adopted by the Council, meaning that UK disagrees on those recommendations. The documents submitted by the UK imply that the UK will not implement at all at least three of those recommendations, up to four of them will be implemented only partially and only two will be implemented in full. In addition, the information provided with regard to the implementation of certain actions is not detailed enough to allow assessing whether the deficiencies will be implemented effectively.”
The UK is now called on to accelerate the implementation of certain recommendations and to provide additional detailed information
Further background: In 2019, it emerged that the UK authorities had systematically misused the SIS, and cases of mismanagement were detected. It was reported that the UK unlawfully copied classified personal data from the database and shared information with US companies. Furthermore, the UK failed to keep data up-to-date, ignored alerts from other EU states, and allowed data to be held by private contractors and stored on backup laptops - all in breach of the Schengen data protection rules. It should be noted that the UK will actually only remain connected to the SIS until the end of the transition period provided for in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. Whether the UK can participate in the SIS after 31 December 2020 is still open.