Interoperability of data within EU information systems for security 

The national implementation project, set up by the Ministry of the Interior, is part of the ongoing development work within the EU to streamline data and information in its information systems related to internal security, border management and migration management. The Finnish project also covers a national legislative package. The legislative project was set up in April 2020 to prepare the necessary amendments to national legislation. They shall be submitted to Parliament in the autumn of 2021. 

Finnish authorities use EU information systems in their daily work. The purpose of the project is to coordinate the measures to be taken by different authorities in the context of the implementation of the EU-level reform in Finland. The project is designed to ensure national implementation of relevant European Parliament and Council regulations in cooperation with the competent authorities. In Finland, the work is coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance are also involved in the project. Similar projects are underway in other EU countries, too. 

The aim of the EU-wide coordination effort is to strengthen security in parallel with a smooth flow of border traffic. In future, national authorities will be better able to detect security threats, intensify controls at external borders, and combat identity fraud and illegal migration. 

Large-scale interoperable IT systems

Information systems interoperable across Europe will enable competent authorities, including border guards, police officers, and visa and immigration authorities, to gain more rapid access to increasingly reliable and comprehensive data and information on third-country nationals present in the EU territory. This allows for improved identification of persons suspected of an offence, among others. 

EU-wide interoperability will be ensured by implementing these four tools:

  1. A European search portal to search simultaneously in multiple EU information systems for biometric data such as facial images and fingerprints, for example.
  2. A shared biometric matching service that allows to compare the biometrics to be entered in one system with the fingerprints and facial images stored in other systems. 
  3. A common identity repository for storing biographical and biometric data and travel document data on non-EU citizens available in several EU information systems.
  4. A multiple identity detector to check if the same biographical and biometric data and travel document data match persons entered in other systems, allowing to detect multiple identities linked to the same set of biometric data.

List of information systems concerned by European interoperability, together with the responsible national authorities in Finland:

  • EU Visa Information System (VIS) | Ministry for Foreign Affairs 
  • European system for the comparison of fingerprints of asylum applicants (Eurodac) | Finnish Immigration Service
  • Schengen Information System (SIS) | National Police Board
  • Entry/Exit System (EES) | Border Guard
  • European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) | Border Guard
  • A centralised system for the identification of Member States holding conviction information on third-country nationals and stateless persons (ECRIS-TCN) | Ministry of Justice 

Apart from the Schengen Information System, the data and information entered in the said EU information systems only covers third-country nationals. For the individual citizen, the most noticeable new development is that the passports of third-country nationals will no longer be stamped at external borders, as border-crossing data will soon be stored digitally across the EU. Another new feature is the introduction of a travel authorisation procedure for third-country nationals.

The information system functionalities related to this change will be developed by 2023. The central system-level IT systems will be built by the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems (eu-LISA). Each Member State shall develop its own national information systems or interface solutions that will be interoperable with the central IT systems of the EU. National systems must be completed on time so that the entire architecture can be deployed simultaneously across the EU. The Entry/Exit System will be the first new information system to be rolled out in 2022. It will be introduced together with the EU’s reformed Visa Information System. 

More information

Ministry of the Interior
Mr Jukka Jaakkola, Senior Specialist
tel. +358 295 488 223
[email protected]

The authorities' actions implementing the interoperability of information systems have been supported from the EU Internal Security Fund.