Schengen area

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Large-scale information systems


and Union bodies, offices and agencies



The EU has set up a number of large European information systems and agencies, the supervision of which is shared between national data protection authorities and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). National data protection authorities and EDPS, each acting within the scope of their respective competences, shall cooperate actively within the framework of their responsibilities to ensure effective supervision of large-scale IT systems and of Union bodies, offices and agencies.


The national supervisory authorities and the EDPS cooperate to ensure coordinated supervision. For these purposed, they shall meet at least twice a year. They shall, as necessary, each acting within the scope of their respective competences and within the framework of their responsibilities, exchange relevant information, assist each other in carrying out audits and inspections, examine difficulties of interpretation or application of this Regulation and other applicable Union acts, study problems with the exercise of independent supervision or with the exercise of the rights of data subjects, draw up harmonised proposals for solutions to any problems and promote awareness of data protection rights.



The purpose of CIS is to assist the Member States in preventing, investigating and prosecuting seri­ous violations of national and EU customs and agricultural laws. The information contained in CIS comprises personal data related to commodi­ties, means of transport, businesses, persons, goods and cash retained, seized or confiscated. This information may be used solely for the purposes of sighting, reporting or carrying out particular inspections or for strategic or operational analyses concerning persons suspected of breaching customs provisions.


The coordinated supervision is made under The Customs Information System Supervision Coordination Group.


Internal Market Information System (IMI)

IMI is a secure, multilingual online tool that facilitates the Exchange of information between public authorities involved in the practical implementation of EU law. IMI helps authorities to fulfil their cross-border administrative cooperation obligations in multiple Single Market policy areas.


The coordinated supervision is made under Coordinated Supervision Committee.



EPPO is the independent public prosecution office of the European Union. It is responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgment crimes against the financial interests of the EU. These include several types of fraud, VAT fraud with damages above 10 million euro, money laundering, corruption, etc.


The coordinated supervision is made under Coordinated Supervision Committee.



Eurodac stands for European Dactyloscopy. It is a centralised system that contains the fingerprint data of third-country nationals and stateless persons who apply for asylum in one of the EU Member States. Its purpose is primarily to assist in determining which Member State should be responsible for examining a particular asylum application.


The coordinated supervision is made under Eurodac Supervision Coordination Group.



Eurojust, set up in 2002, is an EU body headquartered in The Hague. It promotes judicial cooperation in investigations and prosecutions relating to serious crime concerning at least two Member States. Eurojust is competent to: stimulate and improve coordination of investigations and prosecutions between the competent authorities of the various Member States; and facilitate the execution of requests and decisions relating to judicial cooperation.

The coordinated supervision is made under Coordinated Supervision Committee.



Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency, is headquartered in The Hague, with Europol National Units (ENUs) in each Member State. The object of Europol is to assist with the prevention and investigation of organised crime, terrorism and other forms of serious crime, which affect two or more Member States. It does so by exchanging information and by acting as the EU’s information hub, providing intelligence analyses and threat assessments.


The coordinated supervision is made under Coordinated Supervision Committee.



The Schengen Information System is at the heart of Schengen cooperation. SIS is the largest information sharing system for security and border management in Europe. It provides information on wanted or missing persons, third-country nationals with no legal right to stay in the Union and lost or stolen objects (for example cars, firearms, boats and identity documents).


The coordinated supervision is made under Coordinated Supervision Committee.



The Visa Information System (VIS), was developed to support the implementation of a common EU visa policy. The VIS allows Schengen states to exchange data concerning visa applicants through a fully centralised system which connects the consulates and embassies of the Schengen states situated in non-EU countries with the external border-crossing points of all Schengen states. The VIS processes data regarding applications for short-stay visas to visit or to transit through the Schengen area. The VIS enables border authorities to verify, with the help of biometric attributes, notably fingerprints, whether or not the person presenting a visa is its rightful holder and to identify persons with no or fraudulent documents.


The coordinated supervision is made under Visa Information System Supervision Coordination Group.


Information on this website are mostly from: Handbook on European data protection law, 2018