Ministers from seven EU countries have signed a deal to enhance cooperation among their respective police forces.
The accord, which was signed in the German town of Pruem, involves Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria.
It focuses on the fight against terrorism, cross-border crime and illegal migration.
The agreement has been described as “Schengen plus” in reference to the existing cross border security arrangement involving some EU states.
From now police services in the countries concerned will be able to use new technology to exchange fingerprint and DNA information directly.
It is claimed it will help Germany prepare for policing the World Cup in 2006.
The ministers cited other specific examples of potential cooperation including armed guards on flights between member countries. The movements of terrorist suspects and sex offenders will also be more easily monitored, it is claimed.