Secret reports on new five year plan for "European Home Affairs"
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A new secret report, made available by Statewatch, drafted by the “Future
Group” of Interior and Justice Ministers from six EU member states (Germany,
France, Sweden, Portugal, Slovenia, and Czech Republic) suggests a series of
proposals to boost EU integration in policing and intelligence-gathering,
including the creation an EU-US Area of cooperation for “freedom, security
The group’s controversial proposals are certain to trigger major disputes,
proposing that the EU members states should pool information in a central
intelligence unit, creating a network of “anti-terrorist centres”,
standardising police surveillance techniques and extending the sharing of
DNA and fingerprint databases to include CCTV video footage and material
gathered by “spy drones”.
The report also includes a decision to expand the current European
Gendarmerie Force (EGF), which currently only involves France, Italy, Spain,
Portugal and the Netherlands, into an EU body, that could be used also for
paramilitary intervention overseas.
Claiming efficient fight against terrorism, the report suggests an
Euro-Atlantic pact of cooperation with the United States. The document needs
to be finalized by 2014 at the latest and would not just cover terrorism and
passenger data but would cover the whole area of justice and home affairs –
policing, immigration, sharing database data and biometrics. The difference
in privacy regulation could be a problem in achieving
this pact, but the US seems to push hard for this new pact:
“All the evidence from dozens of high-level EU-USA meetings on justice and
home affairs since 11 September 2001 shows that it is a one-way street with
the EU trying to fend off USA demands. When the EU does not cave in the USA
simply negotiates bilateral deals with individual member states. A permanent
EU-USA pact would be disastrous for privacy and civil liberties.” explains
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor.
Bruno Waterfield, Brussels correspondent for The Daily Telegraph has
expressed the way in which security has been escalated to a level that he
calls “securocracy”. He believes it started at the national and EU level
with “interoperability” that allowed a more wildly exchange of the
information held on databases. This gave the idea of “availability”, that
meant “the exchange of any of this information, defined as important for
security purposes, was required”. And the latest stage is “convergence”.
“This concept heralds a new era by standardising European police
surveillance techniques and creating “tool-pools” of common data gathering
systems to be operated at the EU level” says Waterfield.
Future Report: Freedom, Security, Privacy – European Home Affairs in an open
Secret EU security draft risks uproar with call to pool policing and give US
personal data (7.08.2008)
Secret EU report moots sharing personal data with US (7.08.2008)
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EU plan: The rise and rise of the securocrats (7.08.2008)