Second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II)

The SIS II is a large-scale IT system, set up as a compensatory measure for the abolition of internal border checks, and intends to ensure a high level of security within the area of freedom, security and justice of the European Union, including the maintenance of public security and public policy and the safeguarding of security in the territories of the Member States.

The SIS II is already implemented in all EU Member States, with the exception of Cyprus and Ireland, and in four Associated States: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The SIS II is an information system that allows national law enforcement, judicial and administrative authorities to perform specific tasks by sharing relevant data. The European agencies EUROPOL and EUROJUST also have limited access privileges to this system.

Categories of information processed

SIS II centralises two broad categories of information taking the form of alerts on, firstly, persons - who are either wanted for arrest, missing, sought to assist with a judicial procedure, for discreet or specific checks, or third country nationals subject to refusal of entry or stay in the Schengen area, and, secondly, objects - such as vehicles, travel documents, credit cards, for seizure or use as evidence in criminal proceedings, or for discreet or specific checks.

Legal basis

Depending on the type of alert, the SIS II is regulated either by Regulation (EC) 1987/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on the establishment, operation and use of the second-generation Schengen Information System with respect to alert procedures falling under Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community (former first pillar) or by Council Decision 2007/533/JHA of 12 June 2007 on the establishment, operation and use of the second generation Schengen Information System in what concerns procedures falling under Title VI of the Treaty on European Union (former third pillar).

Categories of personal data processed

When the alert concerns a person, the information must always include the name, surname and any aliases, the sex, a reference to the decision giving rise to the alert and the action to be taken. If available, the alert may also contain information such as any specific, objective, physical characteristics not subject to change; the place and date of birth; photographs; fingerprints; nationality(ies); whether the person concerned is armed, violent or has escaped; reason for the alert; the authority issuing the alert; links to other alerts issued in SIS II in accordance with Article 37 of SIS II Regulation or Article 52 of SIS II Decision.

Architecture of the system

The SIS II is composed of:

  • a central system ("Central SIS II");
  • a national system (the "N.SIS II") in each Member State (the national data systems that will communicate with the Central SIS II);
  • a communication infrastructure between the central system and the national systems providing an encrypted virtual network dedicated to SIS II data and the exchange of data between the authorities
    responsible for the exchange of all supplementary information * (SIRENE Bureaux)5.