[JURIST] EU law enforcement officials agreed Monday that a police data-sharing agreement among members states should be expanded to include all 27 member nations. German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble [Interior Ministry website] made the announcement at the end of two-day meeting of EU justice and interior ministers [overview, in German], the first during Germany's EU presidency [official website]. Schaeuble suggested that the EU and US could make a similar data-sharing agreement as part of a joint effort to combat terrorism, stating that "if we are talking about guaranteeing security...we wish to cooperate closely with our American partners."
The current EU agreement, signed in 2005 and known as the Schengen III Agreement [PDF text; Liberty and Security backgrounder], provides that seven EU nations - Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Spain - share police information from their respective fingerprint, DNA, and license plate databases. On Friday, Schaeuble called for greater EU-wide cooperation on illegal immigration [JURIST report]. Germany's presidency began in January and will conclude at the end of June. The European Presidency is responsible for the organization and chairing of all meetings in the Council of the European Union [official website], the EU's main decision-making body. AP has more.