The European Parliament today voted on legislation revising how the EURODAC database of asylum applicants' and refugees' fingerprints is managed. The vote took place as part of the adoption of the asylum package of legislation (1). The new EURODAC legislation includes controversial provisions allowing law enforcement authorities access to the database. After the vote, Green migration and civil liberties spokesperson Ska Keller (MEP, Germany) stated:
"Allowing law enforcement authorities access to the EURODAC fingerprint database flies in the face of asylum seekers' basic rights. In essence, this provision means all those who come to Europe seeking protection from persecution will be treated as potential criminals from the outset.
"EURODAC was intended to enable immigration authorities to identify asylum seekers, with a view to avoiding double applications. Allowing police authorities to access the data for a totally different purpose is totally at odds with this and opens the door to discrimination. In caving in to this demand from EU governments, MEPs have undermined the credibility of the European Parliament as an institution for defending fundamental and human rights."
(1) The other 3 files in the asylum package were deemed adopted without a vote. See the Green reaction to the asylum package here: http://www.greens-efa.eu/eu-asylum-rules-10015.html