The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale IT system that supports public security and the exchange of information on people and objects between national law enforcement, border control, customs, visa and judicial authorities.
As people and goods can move in the Schengen Area without being checked at internal borders, SIS is used by security officials to help keep people safe and counter cross-border crime.
SIS supports authorities to ensure Europe’s internal security, while respecting data protection requirements.
At the end of 2018, SIS contained over 82.2 million alerts and more than 267 000 ‘hits’ on alerts were registered. Statistical data shows that in 2018 SIS was searched more than 6.1 billion times in total by all Member States, 1 billion times more (i.e. 20 % more) than in 2017.
After two years of intensive efforts, in the beginning of 2018 eu-LISA successfully launched the SIS Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) platform. SIS AFIS meets the demands of the European law enforcement community to have an advanced tool, at EU level, enabling the identification of persons of interest by their fingerprints alone.
The SIS reform package, the legislation for which was adopted in December 2018, has introduced technical and operational improvements to the system (such as the introduction of additional categories of alerts and the expansion of the list of objects for which alerts can be issued) in order to further strengthen the operational effectiveness and efficiency of SIS. eu-LISA, as the operational manager of the system, is driving forward such improvements, utilising its skills and capabilities to further advance Schengen cooperation.