The Schengen and Dublin Agreement allow for close cooperation between European States in the fight against crime and in the treatment of asylum requests.  

The Schengen Agreement, signed in 1985, eliminates systematic identity checks at the internal borders of the Schengen member states, facilitating the mobility of travellers within this area. As a balance, checks at exterior borders are stricter, as are monitoring and research measures within national territories, particularly as a result of the SIS electronic research system.

The Dublin Convention was signed in 1990 and was replaced by the Dublin II Regulation in 2003. This Regulation aims to guarantee that asylum requests are only treated by one State in the Dublin system. Thanks to the Eurodac finger prints database, a person who has made multiple requests for asylum can be identified and sent back to the country responsible for the procedure.

On 26 October 2004, Switzerland entered into a Schengen association agreement and a Dublin association agreement. These agreements entered into force on 1 March 2008 and Switzerland was connected to the SIS system on 14 August 2008. The operational entry into force, eliminating identity checks at borders inside the Schengen area was on 12 December 2008. In airports, checks were eliminated on 29 March 2009.

The FDPIC’s competences under Schengen cooperation

The Schengen association agreement requires the introduction of a national supervisory authority on data protection in all the States participating in Schengen cooperation. In Switzerland, this monitoring is carried out by the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) and the cantonal data protection authorities within their respective spheres of responsibility. The data protection authorities are responsible for supervising SIS and the services involved in the management and use of the system. They also ensure the effective exercise of the rights of those affected by the processing of personal data in this context.

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