Provisional Agreement on Law Enforcement Information Exchange Directive
On 29 November 2022, the Czech Council Presidency and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal for a Directive on information exchange between law enforcement authorities of Member States. The proposal was presented by the Commission in December 2021 as part of the EU police cooperation code (→ eucrim 4/2021, 225-226).
The text, as agreed on, provides for equivalent access for national law enforcement authorities to information available in other Member States. It seeks to improve the functioning of “Single Points of Contact” (SPOC) for the exchange of information, which will be operational 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. In urgent cases, the information should be made available within eight hours if it is contained in a database that is directly accessible to the SPOC or law enforcement authorities, and within three days if it can be obtained from other public authorities or private parties. Any other request would need to be answered within seven calendar days. The Secure Information Exchange Network Application (SIENA), managed by Europol, would become the default channel of communication.
The general organisational and procedural rules on the information exchange between law enforcement authorities is regulated to date by Council Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA, known as “Swedish Framework Decision” or “Swedish initiative”. The Directive would repeal this legal framework. The Directive aims that information exchange between law enforcement authorities is increasing under the new rules, the legal framework will be clearer and exchange of information will become faster. The text needs to be formally approved by the Council and the European Parliament.