Eurodac is the central fingerprint database of the European Union for asylum matters. It has been operating since 15 January 2003 and was set up in order to register asylum applicants and thus apply the Dublin Regulation effectively.

All asylum applicants who are at least 14 years old and are not citizens of a Dublin member state are registered in Eurodac. It also contains details of persons who are caught illegally crossing the borders of the Dublin Area and are not turned back. Eurodac may also be used to check persons who are illegally present in a Dublin member state.

The Eurodac system was specially developed to make it easier to determine which member state is responsible for a given asylum seeker. Europe’s central Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) comprises a central unit at the European Commission in Luxembourg, an electronic database and a transfer system between the Dublin member states.

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