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Convention on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism, cross-border crime and illegal migration
Parties to the Prüm Convention and Prüm Decision participants
Other Prüm Decision participants
non-EU member states participating
non-EU member states which have signed an agreement to participate
The treaty was based on an initiative by the then German Minister Otto Schily from mid-2003. Core elements of the convention were picked up by EU Council Decision 2008/615/JHA on 23 June 2008 on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime.
The full name of the treaty is Convention between the Kingdom of Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Austria on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism, cross-border crime and illegal migration.
Contents of the Convention
The Convention was adopted so as to enable the signatories to exchange data regarding DNA, fingerprints and vehicle registration of concerned persons and to cooperate against terrorism. It also contains provisions for the deployment of armed sky marshals on flights between signatory states, joint police patrols, entry of (armed) police forces into the territory of another state for the prevention of immediate danger (hot pursuit), and cooperation in case of mass events or disasters. Furthermore, a police officer responsible for an operation in a state may, in principle, decide to what degree the police forces of the other states that were taking part in the operation could use their weapons or exercise other powers.
provisions of this Convention shall only apply in so far as they are compatible with European Union law ... [EU law] should take precedence in applying the relevant provisions of this Convention
-- Convention on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism, cross-border crime and illegal migration, Article 47
Additionally the text of the Convention and its annexes were circulated on 7 July 2005 between the delegations to the Council of the European Union.
Some of the Convention provisions, falling under the former third pillar of the EU, were later subsumed into the police and judicial cooperation provisions of European Union law by a 2008 Council Decision, commonly referred to as the Prüm Decision. It provides for Law Enforcement Cooperation in criminal matters primarily related to exchange of fingerprint, DNA (both on a hit no-hit basis) and Vehicle owner registration (direct access via the EUCARIS system) data. The data exchange provisions are to be implemented in 2012. The remaining provisions of the Convention falling under the former third pillar are not yet adopted into EU law.
Parties to the convention
The states which have ratified the convention are:
While the Decisions were originally applicable to all EU member states, the United Kingdom subsequently exercised their right to opt-out from them effective 1 December 2014. However, the UK committed to assess their future participation and make a decision by 31 December 2015 on whether to rejoin the Decisions. On 22 January 2016 the UK notified the EU of its desire to resume participating in the Prum Decisions, which was approved by the Commission on 20 May 2016.
Norway and Iceland signed a treaty with the EU in 2009 to apply certain provisions of the Decisions. Norway ratified the agreement and it entered into force for it as of 1 December 2020, while Iceland has not ratified as of October 2020. Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom have opt-outs from participating in the Council Decision approving the agreement with Norway and Iceland. While Ireland and the United Kingdom decided to opt-in, the agreement does not apply to Denmark. The Council of the European Union authorized the launch of negotiations with Switzerland and Liechtenstein on their participation in the Prüm regime in June 2016. Proposals to conclude agreements with each state were put forward by the European Commission in January 2019. Ireland and the UK again opted to participate in the agreement. The agreements were signed on 27 June 2019. On the 23 June 2016 the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. After withdrawal negotiations concluded, the United Kingdom left the EU on the 31 January 2020.