The process - which in addition to Portugal also targets Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece and Malta - is based on problems related to electronic interconnection and the effective exchange of information on criminal records through the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) as well as in the notification of all new convictions and updates on the convictions to the Member State of nationality of the offender.

According to a press release from the community executive, another cause for concern is the fact that responses to requests for information about convictions are not given within the deadlines, and there is still no response.

Portugal has two months to notify Brussels about the correct application of the rules, under penalty of it advancing to the second phase of the infringement process.