Each Contracting Party must designate a central authority as a single point of contact for the exchange of additional information related to data in the SIS. This contact point, called the SIRENE Bureau, must operate continuously 24/7. Each Contracting Party issues its alerts only via this authority.

SIRENE is responsible for the uninterrupted operation of the national section of the Schengen Information System and adopts required actions for ensuring the observance of the provisions of the Convention. One should emphasize that expansive and improved cooperation between the police at the basic level has been achieved with the SIS system and its auxiliary element SIRENE. With the aid of these technical and operative systems, all information defined by the end user in the system (predominantly patrol officers) can be acquired.

SIRENE represents the foundation for international police cooperation in the Schengen area (systematic police cooperation based on the mutual exchange of data and alerts regarding persons and objects, ongoing and concurrently updated by requesting members according to the principle of mutual trust as if information was treated within the national legal scope).

All operations between SIRENE Bureaux have been standardized on the basis of the SIRENE Manual which is concurrently modified and supplemented within the scope of the EU Commission.

Task And Competences

The main tasks of the national SIRENE Bureaux relate in particular to the exchange of additional information in the event of an alert, in the event of a hit, in the event of an alert denying entry to third-country nationals and in other cases.

The main tasks of SIRENE National Bureaux apply predominantly to the exchange of supplementary information:

  • prior to an alert;
  • simultaneously while entering an alert;
  • for multiple alerts;
  • when adding a flag;
  • in the case of a hit;
  • in the case of an alert regarding the refusal of entry of a citizen from a third country;
  • when the procedures of a hit cannot be followed;
  • if the original objective is changed and
  • in the case of incorrect data or illegal archiving of data and entitlement to access of personal data and correction thereof.

Tasks which SIRENE Bureaux perform with regards to all categories of alerts:

  • verification of procedural compliance with the provisions of the Schengen Convention;
  • verification of the technical quality of data;
  • observance of the prescribed order of procedures;
  • immediate notification to the Contracting Party that issued the alert in the event of a hit and
  • the exchange of supplementary information.

In addition to its main tasks, additional tasks regarding the ongoing and accelerated international police cooperation play a significant role:

  • the exchange of information in the field of police cooperation (Articles 40 and 41 - cross-border surveillance and pursuit)
  • the right of persons to have access to data entered in the Schengen Information System which relate to them (Article 109)
  • the issuing of alerts and exchange of information within the scope of SIS has an advantage over the issuing of alerts and exchange of information via Interpol (alert for the same person is not excluded).

SIRENE is not intended to replace or emulate Interpol. Although several tasks overlap, the principles of actions and cooperation among the contracting parties perceptibly differ from those regulated by the International Criminal Police Organization.

The entry of alerts into SIS and suitable modification of data always has priority over alerts and exchanges of information via Interpol. This priority especially applies in the event of disputes between alerts from SIS and Interpol. Within the scope of "Schengen", priority will be given to alerts issued through SIS as opposed to those issued by Interpol. The latter will only be encountered as an exception (alerts which are not foreseen in the Agreement, for example: inability to enter artificial objects into the SIS system and those which do not possess adequate information for entry into the SIS system).