The Joint Supervisory Authority of Schengen (hereinafter referred to as the JSA Schengen) is an authority established on the basis of Article 115 of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement on the gradual abolition of checks at the common borders (Schengen Convention) as a body which is competent for the issues of supervision of technical support function of the Schengen Information System (SIS) which is being mostly used to control the movement of persons on the borders of states which are parties to the Schengen system.
The JSA Schengen consists of two representatives of national supervisory authorities of each Member States which are parties to the Schengen Convention. At present the JSA Schengen is composed of representatives of contracting parties to the Schengen Convention and representatives of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland as observers. The representatives of data protection authorities from other newly accessed states have been participating in the meetings of the JSA Schengen as observers since June 2003. Since Poland's accession to the Schengen Area as of 21 December 2007, the Inspector General for Personal Data Protection has been a full member of the JSA Schengen.
Besides the task of supervising the technical support function of SIS, the JSA Schengen examines any difficulties which may arise during operation of SIS. The JSA Schengen is also responsible for drawing up opinions and harmonise legal practice and interpretation on national level in accordance with provisions of the Council of Europe Convention of 28 January 1981 for the Protection of Individuals with regard to the Automatic Processing of Personal Data, taking into account Recommendation R (87) 15 of 17 September 1987 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe regulating the use of personal data in the police sector.
The JSA Schengen has following tasks:
- delivering of opinions in the event that two Contracting Parties cannot reach agreement with regard to data contained in an alert that has been entered incorrectly or unlawfully. The Contracting Party that did not enter the alert is obliged to submit the case to the JSA;
- analysing of any problems which may arise in connection with the operation of SIS;
- examination of problems that may arise in connection with the implementation of independent supervision by the national authorities of the Contracting Parties;
- examination of problems which may result from exercising the right of access to data contained in the system;
- drawing up drafts of harmonised proposals aimed at resolving existing problems;
- delivering of opinions at the request of the Contracting Parties on the problems that arise in applying and interpreting Article 126 in relation to the processing of data transmitted outside the framework of SIS for the purpose of implementing the Convention;
- delivering of opinions on the transmission of data from, and the entry of data in, a non-automated database (facultative task).
Irrespective of the above, the Convention imposes an obligation to communicate the JSA Schengen about the special security arrangements made by each Contracting Party for transmitting data to bodies or departments located outside the territories of the Contracting Parties.
Further information pertaining to the JSA Schengen can be found at its website (http://schengen.consilium.europa.eu/).
Address of the Secretariat of the JSA Schengen:
Data Protection Secretariat
Council of the European Union
175, Rue de la Loi
Moreover, information concerning the integration of Schengen acquis into the European Union legal system and SIS and SIS II can be found at the following websites:
http://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/policies/borders/borders_schengen_en.htm (Schengen acquis),
http://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/policies/borders/borders_it_en.htm (SIS and SIS II).
and in "Questions and Answers" section of the Polish data protection website.