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Vetting: EU Countries

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 19 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what reciprocal arrangements are in place between the UK and other EU member states to check criminal records; (206490)

(2) what plans there are to establish an EU-wide database for criminal record checks.

There are no plans to establish an EU wide database for criminal record checks. However under Council Decision 2005/876/JHA of 21 November 2005 the United Kingdom can, in the context of criminal proceedings in the UK, send a request for criminal record information to another member state in relation to offences committed by nationals of the member state. An EU member state can, in the context of criminal proceedings in that member state, request criminal record information about a UK national from the UK.

Under the same Council Decision, the UK already receives conviction information on UK nationals who have been convicted of offences in EU member states and sends, to the member state of nationality, criminal record information on EU nationals convicted in the UK. Information received in the UK is entered on to the Police National Computer by the UK Central Authority for the Exchange of Criminal Records.

The European Union has agreed a general approach on a proposal for a Council Framework Decision on the organisation and content of the exchange of information extracted from criminal records between member states. We expect the Framework Decision to be adopted by the end of 2008 with an implementation deadline of three years from the date of agreement.