Terror attacks spur upgrade of EU border checks

Security agencies told to update database in drive to keep track of suspects

Brussels is proposing to bolster the way law enforcement agencies share border control data to address weaknesses exposed by terror attacks across Europe during the past two years.

The European Commission said steps were needed to strengthen the border control database known as the Schengen Information System and improve co-operation in tracking terror suspects.

The moves are part of a broader plan to strengthen counterterrorism legislation in the wake of attacks in France, Belgium and Germany that have killed more than 250 people in a little more than 12 months. In Germany, a hunt was under way for the driver of the truck claimed the lives of 12 people at a Berlin Christmas market.

The SIS enables border guards and police to share information across the EU. It was set up to facilitate frontier checks and searches for criminals moving around the passport-free Schengen zone. While the system is seen as a technical success, the attacks have revealed flaws in how it is used.