EU aims to link visa, crime databases to boost terror fight

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is planning to link together its border, visa and fingerprint databases to plug information gaps and better combat terrorism and international crime.

The European Commission proposed Tuesday to upgrade the 28-nation bloc's information systems so that border officers or the Europol police agency can have fast access to more reliable data.

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos says the plan aims "to close gaps and remove blind spots in our information systems."

It would allow visa, police, customs or justice authorities to use one search portal with access to all various databases they currently have permission to use.

The European Commission says the move wouldn't compromise data protection safeguards while making it easier to cross-check information or catch criminals using multiple or fake identities.

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