Documents considered by the Committee on 21 July 2015 - European Scrutiny Contents

6 European Agenda on Security

Committee's assessment Politically important
Committee's decisionNot cleared from scrutiny; drawn to the attention of the Home Affairs Committee; for debate in European Committee B
Document detailsCommission Communication: The European Agenda on Security
Legal base

Document numbers

Home Office

(36829), 8293/15, COM(15) 185

Summary and Committee's conclusions

6.1 The Commission Communication, The European Agenda on Security, proposes a framework for cooperation between Member States, EU institutions and agencies for the period 2015-20 to tackle common threats to internal security, with a particular focus on organised crime, terrorism and cybercrime. It describes the measures already developed at EU level to support Member States in fulfilling their "front line responsibility for security" and calls for their full and effective implementation to ensure "better information exchange, increased operational cooperation and mutual trust".[ 52] The Agenda identifies a number of areas in which further measures may be necessary, for example, to counter radicalisation and to strengthen laws on "foreign fighters", and sets out five principles to underpin all action:

·  full compliance with fundamental rights, as well as the principles of necessity, proportionality and legality;

·  transparency, accountability and democratic control, with the involvement of the European Parliament and national parliaments and the creation of a new EU Security Consultative Forum;[ 53]

·  better application and implementation of existing EU instruments, supported by effective monitoring and peer evaluation to develop mutual trust;

·  better inter-agency cooperation[ 54] across all security-related policy areas; and

·  greater coherence between the internal and external dimensions of security, underpinned by stronger engagement with neighbourhood countries, key strategic partners and international organisations.

6.2 The Commission has published a separate European Agenda on Migration which focusses specifically on threats to security stemming from the smuggling of migrants, human trafficking and border management.[ 55]

6.3 The Minister for Security (Mr John Hayes) welcomes the Commission's focus on implementing existing EU measures and strengthening cooperation between EU institutions and agencies, Member States and national authorities. He agrees that terrorism, serious and organised crime, and cybercrime should remain as the EU's strategic objectives for 2015-20, whilst emphasising that national security is the sole responsibility of Member States. The Minister's detailed comments on the main elements of the Commission Communication, and areas of concern, are summarised later in this chapter.

6.4 There is a clear sense of continuity in the actions proposed by the Commission in its European Agenda on Security for 2015-20 and its earlier EU Internal Security Strategy covering the period from 2010 to 2014. We note that the Minister expects the Conclusions to be agreed by the Justice and Home Affairs Council in June to set out the Council's "key strategic aims" rather than simply to endorse the content of the Commission Communication. We ask the Minister to provide a copy of the Council Conclusions, highlighting any areas in which they depart from the principles and actions set out in the Communication and explaining the significance of any changes. We would also welcome further details on the "operational implementation plan" which the Council's Standing Committee on Internal Security (COSI) will be invited to develop. We recommend that the Commission Communication should be debated in European Committee B once we have received this additional information.

6.5 Before the debate takes place, we ask the Minister to comment further on the "five principles" outlined in the first section of the Communication (and summarised above in our first paragraph) since he does not do so in his Explanatory Memorandum. In particular, we ask him to explain how "the specific role of national parliaments in the area of freedom, security and justice" will be reflected both in the legislative and non-legislative measures taken forward by the Commission and Council, given the likelihood that internal security measures will have some impact on individuals' rights and privacy. We also ask the Minister whether he considers that there is a sufficient degree of "mutual trust" between Member States, as well as in their respective judicial systems, to warrant further, more intrusive internal security measures at EU level.

6.6 The UK has recently opted out of some of the existing measures highlighted in the Communication, notably the Prüm Decisions establishing a framework for cross-border cooperation to tackle terrorism and serious crime, and the 2008 Framework Decision on Terrorism. We note that Parliament will be asked to vote, before the end of the year, on future UK participation in Prüm. The Minister says that the Government will ensure that the updating of the 2008 Framework Decision on Terrorism proposed in the Communication "reflects UK priorities". We ask him to explain what the UK's priorities are and how effectively the UK will be able to influence the outcome of these negotiations, given that it has no vote on the final text.

6.7 The UK has not opted into the EU's Internal Security Fund covering the period 2014-20. The previous Government informed our predecessors in December 2013 that it would consider whether to recommend opting into the policing component of the Fund following its adoption, but we have received no formal update since then. We ask the Minister to clarify the Government's intentions.

6.8 We look forward to receiving the information we have requested promptly, so that the debate we have recommended can take place before further measures are brought forward to implement the EU's new Internal Security Strategy. Given the scope and importance of the Communication in setting a strategic direction for EU action, we draw it to the attention of the Home Affairs Committee.

Full details of the documents: Commission Communication: The European Agenda on Security: (36829), 8293/15, COM(15) 185.


6.9 The EU Treaties require EU action in the area of freedom, security and justice to "respect fundamental rights and the different legal systems and traditions of the Member States" whilst also endeavouring to ensure "a high level of security".[ 56] A standing committee within the Council (known by its French acronym "COSI") is responsible for strengthening operational cooperation on internal security and helping to coordinate action by national law enforcement authorities. The EU Treaties distinguish between internal security and law and order, for which Member States bear the primary responsibility, with the EU acting only in those areas where it can add value, and national security, which is the sole responsibility of each Member State.[ 57] The primacy of Member State action is reflected in the limited role given to the Court of Justice which lacks jurisdiction to consider how Member States have exercised their responsibility to maintain law and order or safeguard internal security, or to review the validity or proportionality of operations carried out by police or other national law enforcement bodies.[ 58]

6.10 The EU agreed its first Internal Security Strategy in 2010. It set out a "shared agenda" for action based on five overarching strategic objectives:

·  Disrupting international criminal networks;

·  Preventing terrorism and addressing radicalisation and recruitment;

·  Raising levels of cyber security for citizens and business;

·  Strengthening security through border management; and

·  Increasing Europe's resilience to crises and disasters.

6.11 The Commission's final report on the implementation of the EU Internal Security Strategy concluded that these objectives remained valid and should be included in a renewed Strategy accompanied by a further set of actions for the period 2015-20. In June 2014, the European Council agreed strategic guidelines for justice and home affairs which called for a "review and update" of the EU Internal Security Strategy by mid-2015.[ 59] More detailed Conclusions agreed by the Justice and Home Affairs Council in December 2014 set out the structure and principles which should underpin the new Strategy and invited the Commission to put forward a Communication to that effect.[ 60]

The Commission Communication: The European Agenda on Security

6.12 The Communication sets out a "shared agenda" for Member States and EU institutions and agencies which is intended to ensure more effective cooperation and coordination of action to tackle common security threats. The aim is to achieve "an EU area of internal security where individuals are protected in full compliance with fundamental rights".[ 61]

6.13 The European Agenda on Security ("the Agenda") first describes the range of legal, practical and support tools which are already in place, or in the process of negotiation, to improve the exchange of information, increase operational cooperation and enhance internal security through training, financial support and research and innovation. The success of these tools, according to the Commission, depends on "responsibility-sharing, mutual trust and effective cooperation between all actors involved" based on the five key principles described above in paragraph 1 of the Summary.


6.14 The Agenda identifies existing tools to improve the exchange of information between national law enforcement authorities and urges Member States to ensure their full implementation or, where negotiations are continuing, their speedy adoption. The tools include:

·  the Schengen Information System (SIS) which, the Commission suggests, should be used together with Interpol's database on Stolen and Lost Travel Documents to strengthen security at the EU's external borders;

·  a variety of information sharing systems, such as the Customs Advance Cargo and Anti-Fraud Information Systems which improve security in relation to the cross-border movement of goods, and the Maritime Common Information Sharing Environment;

·  the Prüm framework which provides for the automated comparison of DNA profiles, fingerprint and vehicle registration data;

·  the analytical and operational capabilities of Europol;

·  an EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) system for the exchange of information on airline passengers travelling to, from and within the EU (still under negotiation), as well as further work on "legally sound and sustainable solutions to exchange PNR data with other third countries";[ 62]

·  common EU rules on data protection requirements applicable to police and criminal justice authorities and a framework agreement for the transfer of personal data between the EU and US for law enforcement purposes (both still under negotiation); and

·  the exchange of information on the previous convictions of EU nationals under the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS).

6.15 The Commission also highlights potential gaps in the coverage of the EU's existing tools for information exchange, indicating that it will assess the need for additional categories of information to be included in the Schengen Information System, such as travel bans imposed at national level. It will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the Schengen Border Code (in which the UK does not participate) and produce a set of common risk indicators to assist in the detection of foreign terrorist fighters. The Commission intends to extend the scope of ECRIS to include information on the convictions of third country nationals in the EU and will examine the need for a European Police Record Index System to facilitate cross-border access to information held in national police records.


6.16 The Agenda sets out a further set of tools which support effective operational cooperation between law enforcement authorities. They include:

·  the EU Policy Cycle for serious and organised crime which identifies common priorities and operational actions and is overseen by the Standing Committee for Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI);

·  EU agencies, notably Europol and Eurojust in relation to cross-border law enforcement cooperation and prosecution, and Frontex in relation to operational cooperation at the EU's external borders;

·  the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre which provides round-the-clock coordination and support for crisis response and management operations;

·  the use of Joint Investigation Teams to investigate cross-border crimes complemented, in the customs area, by Joint Customs Operations;

·  networks of national specialist units, such as Financial Intelligence Units and Asset Recovery Offices to combat money laundering and trace proceeds of crime;

·  the growing number of Police and Customs Cooperation Centres in border regions; and

·  a range of judicial cooperation instruments, notably the European Arrest Warrant and the European Investigation Order, as well as the European Judicial Network to support the application of these instruments.

6.17 The Commission suggests that there are sufficient tools to support operational cooperation between Member States but calls for greater synergies between EU agencies as well as "more systematic coordination and full use of" existing tools, notably Joint Investigation Teams.[ 63]


6.18 The Commission highlights the Internal Security Fund (in which the UK has chosen not to participate) as an important source of funding for security-related matters. Funding priorities include updating the national interfaces with the Schengen Information System, implementing the Prüm framework, strengthening cross-border operational cooperation, and developing "exit strategies" for radicalised individuals based on the work of the Radicalisation Awareness Network. Other possible sources of EU funding are the Justice Programme (also not available to the UK) and a range of funding programmes in which the UK does participate, such as Horizon 2020 (research and innovation), European Structural and Investment Funds (regional policy), the Customs 2020 Programme, and various external action funding instruments.

6.19 The Agenda underlines the importance of training in the use of cross-border law enforcement and judicial cooperation tools, highlighting the role of the European Police College (CEPOL) and the European Judicial Training Network, as well as the information available on the e-Justice Portal. The Commission says it will take forward work to create a European Forensic Area to "foster cooperation and ensure confidence" in the accuracy and reliability of forensic data obtained in one Member State and used in criminal proceedings in another Member State. The Commission also emphasises the need for a competitive EU security industry to contribute to the EU's autonomy in meeting security needs and describes work underway to develop common standards, including on a "privacy by design" standard to embed high standards of security and the protection of fundamental rights at the earliest stage of technological design.


6.20 The Commission considers that the strategic objectives set out in the EU Internal Security Strategy for 2010-14 remain valid and that the EU should continue to focus its efforts on three "core priorities" — terrorism, serious and organised cross-border crime, and cybercrime — while retaining sufficient flexibility to respond to new or evolving security threats.

Tackling terrorism and preventing radicalisation

6.21 The Agenda calls for "a strong response to terrorism and foreign terrorist fighters" following a spate of recent terrorist attacks in Europe. It describes work underway and sets out the following proposed actions:

·  establishing within Europol a European Counter-Terrorism Centre which will bring together Europol's existing counter-terrorism law enforcement capabilities (including, by July 2015, a new Internet Referral Unit to deal with violent extremist online content) and strengthen the support available to Member States;

·  launching an EU-level forum for IT companies, law enforcement authorities and civil society to develop tools to counter terrorist propaganda on the internet and in social media;

·  strengthening measures to track and combat terrorist financing;

·  reviewing the EU's existing legislative framework on terrorism with a view to introducing more coherent laws to tackle foreign terrorist fighters and identifying any gaps in the EU's response to online "hate speech" and incitement to violence;

·  re-orienting existing EU policy frameworks in the field of education and training, culture, youth and sport to promote social inclusion and prevent radicalisation;

·  tackling radicalisation in prisons through support for training, disengagement programmes and exchanges of best practice; and

·  establishing a Centre of Excellence for the existing Radicalisation Awareness Network to serve as a "knowledge hub" for the detection and prevention of radicalisation and working more closely with Turkey and other third countries in the Western Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa.

Disrupting organised crime

6.22 The Agenda underlines the "huge human, social and economic costs" associated with serious cross-border crime, such as people smuggling, human trafficking, drug smuggling and trading in firearms, as well as the involvement of organised crime networks in fuelling and financing terrorism and conflict. The Commission describes the main tools and actors available at EU level to tackle serious and organised crime and suggests that they can be strengthened in the following ways:

·  strengthening the involvement of neighbouring third countries in the operational activities of the EU's Policy Cycle for serious and organised crime, notably to disrupt criminal networks responsible for the smuggling of migrants to the EU;

·  exposing the infiltration of the licit economy by organised crime groups through effective implementation of EU anti-money laundering legislation, improving the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders, and reviewing the possibility of common rules for non-conviction based confiscation of criminal proceeds;

·  reviewing existing legislation on firearms with a view to developing proposals to improve information-sharing, traceability, marking, and common standards for neutralising firearms;

·  assessing the progress made in implementing the current EU Drugs Action Plan and the need for a successor Plan for the period 2017-20;

·  strengthening cooperation with third countries of origin and transit to prevent and detect the smuggling of migrants;

·  building on the existing EU framework on human trafficking to develop a coordinated and coherent post-2016 strategy;

·  reviewing existing policies and laws on environmental crime with a view to strengthening monitoring and enforcement and further approximating criminal sanctions across the EU; and

·  supporting the work of the European Union Crime Prevention Network and continuing efforts to combat corruption.

Fighting cybercrime

6.23 The Commission describes cybercrime as "an ever-growing threat" to fundamental rights, to the economy and to the development of a digital single market, offering "a huge potential gain to criminals and a huge potential loss to citizens".[ 64] The Agenda emphasises the importance of cybersecurity and the need for a high level of network and information security. Proposed action includes:

·  rapid adoption and implementation of the proposed Directive on network information and security, as well as full implementation of EU legislation on attacks against information systems and on online child sexual exploitation;

·  possible updating of EU legislation on fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment to take account of new challenges, such as virtual currencies and mobile payments;

·  the development of Europol's European Cybercrime Centre into a central law enforcement information hub;

·  stronger international cooperation on cybercrime, including through the use of external funding instruments to promote cyber capacity building; and

·  a Commission assessment of obstacles impeding criminal investigation and prosecution of cybercrime, with a particular focus on jurisdiction and access to, and admissibility of, evidence.

6.24 The Commission invites the Council and the European Parliament to endorse its European Agenda on Security ahead of the European Council on 25-26 June 2015 and calls on Member States and EU institutions and agencies to use the Agenda as the basis for their cooperation and joint action for the period from 2015-20.

The Government's Explanatory Memorandum of 3 June 2015

6.25 The Minister agrees with the Commission's assessment that the strategic objectives set out in the EU Internal Security Strategy for 2010-14 remain valid and should continue to be pursued at EU level. He notes that the actions proposed in the Commission Communication, A European Agenda on Migration in the areas of human trafficking, people smuggling and border management are also of direct relevance to internal security and says that the Government will "press to ensure that organised immigration crime and related security issues are prioritised".[ 65]

6.26 Turning first to the Commission's proposals for working better together on security, based on the five principles described above in paragraph 1 of our Summary, the Minister expresses caution about the involvement of the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency in ensuring full compliance with fundamental rights for matters relating to security. He explains:

    "The Government considers it is important that the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) acts within the limits of its legal remit as set out in its establishing Regulation. This is limited to the former first pillar (Community law). Consequently, the Agency does not have a remit to undertake its tasks in the areas of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

    "The Communication states that the impact of any new initiative on free movement and the protection of personal data must be fully in line with the proportionality principle, and fundamental rights. It is the Government's view that the role of the FRA must be limited to its remit."[ 66]

6.27 The Minister welcomes the Commission's focus on implementing existing EU measures concerning the exchange of information and operational cooperation. He provides the following observations on the tools already available, or under negotiation, to improve information exchange:

·  Schengen Information System: the UK connected to the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) on 13 April for law enforcement purposes and supports its further development, for example, to track and monitor registered sex offenders, disrupt criminal activity and make better use of fingerprints to confirm identities.

·  Anti-Fraud Information System: the UK plays a full and active role in developing and improving this system, considers to it be an important tool for promoting mutual administrative assistance in the customs area, and agrees that Member States should make best use of it, in accordance with their national laws on information disclosure.

·  Prüm Council Decisions: a full business and implementation case, carried out in cooperation with other Member States, Europol and Eurojust, is currently underway to assess the practical benefits of Prüm and the steps that would need to be taken if the UK were to seek to participate. The results will be provided to Parliament by the end of September 2015, followed by a vote before the end of the year.[ 67]

·  EU Passenger Name Records Directive: the Government fully supports the completion of negotiations on this proposed Directive, as well as ongoing work on data protection issues in the context of requests for PNR data from third (non-EU) countries. The Minister adds that "this needs to be done at a European level to ensure consistency of approach and clarity for UK and other carriers".[ 68]

·  European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS): the Government welcomes the commitment to improving the sharing of information on convictions of third country nationals in the EU and would also like to see "more proactive sharing of criminal conviction data of those convicted of serious offences — such as terrorism, murder and child sex offences. This would allow us to police individuals more effectively when they move between countries post-release".[ 69]

·  European Police Record Index System (EPRIS): the Minister notes the lack of detail in the Communication, adding "whilst we support the principle of greater data sharing, we would need to know more about what is being proposed before reaching a confirmed position. We would not support any system which was overly complex and did not contain sufficient safeguards for the sharing of police data. We know some other Member States share this concern".[ 70]

6.28 The Minister agrees with the Commission that the EU Policy Cycle on serious and organised crime provides a valuable framework for operational cooperation and suggests that it should be used more by Member States. He continues:

    "The UK participates in all EU policy cycle work streams (each dedicated to a different crime type) and leads on two key strands, human trafficking and online child sexual exploitation, and co-leads work on cocaine/heroin flows, excise/missing trader (MTIC) fraud and criminal use of firearms. We believe this is a good example of the benefits practical cooperation has over legislation — an example being the joint enforcement operation 'Archimedes' in 2014 — and expect it to continue to be a template for future activity in this area and others."[ 71]

6.29 The Minister offers the following comments on the tools available at EU level to support operational cooperation between law enforcement authorities:

·  Europol and Eurojust: the Government agrees that both EU Agencies play an important role in supporting operational cooperation and is actively involved in negotiations to reform their structure, governance and tasks. The Minister reiterates the Government's opposition to the proposed European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) and makes clear that the UK will not participate.

·  EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre: the Government recognises the value of a coordination centre at European level to bring coherence to EU activity during crises and emergencies. The Minister emphasises the importance of implementing recent EU legislation on civil protection, as well as the UK's support for the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-30.[ 72]

·  Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) and Joint Customs Operations (JCOs): the Government supports the use of JITs and JCOs as "an important ready-made framework for cooperation between Member States in the fight against cross border crime".[ 73]

6.30 The Commission Communication identifies supporting action, such as training, funding, and research and innovation, which can also make an important contribution to enhancing internal security. The Minister notes that the UK has not opted into a new proposal concerning the European Police College (CEPOL) — an EU Agency that provides training for senior police officers on cross-border and serious international crime — because of concerns that it would expand CEPOL's remit and create additional obligations for Member States. He adds:

    "The Government believes that the professionalism of the police and other law enforcement agencies should be led and developed by those organisations themselves at a national or local level."[ 74]

6.31 Although not currently participating in the EU's Internal Security Fund for 2014-20, the Minister says that any funding to support internal security tasks should be "targeted to be effective and efficient".[ 75] The UK does participate fully in the Horizon 2020 programme on research and innovation and supports its use to "develop technology and innovation to stay ahead in the ever evolving sphere of terrorism, serious and organised crime and tackling irregular or illegal migration".[ 76] Turning to research in the field of civil protection, the Minister adds:

    "The Government recognises the value of a strong interface between research and end users, but maintains it is important that the creation of a knowledge centre and a community of users complements rather than duplicates or conflicts with activity already underway within Member States. These initiatives should include a focus on ensuring appropriate linkages are made between research activity under various EU funding streams, and to share widely the output of EU funded work (in civil protection)."[ 77]

6.32 The Government broadly supports the actions proposed in the Communication for the period 2015-20 to implement the three strategic objectives relating to terrorism, organised crime and cybercrime. On terrorism and measures to prevent radicalisation, the Minister makes the following observations:

·  European Counter-Terrorism Centre at Europol: whilst acknowledging that its purpose is to streamline and integrate Europol's counter-terrorism activity, the Minister notes that national security is reserved to Member States and that the Centre should not have a role in any operational matters.

·  EU Internet Referral Unit at Europol: the Government welcomes the establishment of this Unit (by July 2015) and sees its role as "referring terrorist and extremist content online to industry, for assessment against their own terms and conditions and subsequent takedown".[ 78]

·  EU-level forum to counter terrorist propaganda: the Government cautions against any attempt by the forum to expand EU activity into areas such as encryption, which relate to national security, or to develop legislative tools.

·  Terrorist finance tracking: the Government considers that the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP) has proven its value and that Member States should make active use of its capabilities. The Government also expects to participate in any process to create an EU-wide counter-terrorism sanctions regime for EU "internals", but adds that "any future proposal should not undermine our domestic regime or broader counter-terrorism interests".[ 79]

·  2008 Framework Decision on Terrorism: the UK no longer participates in this Framework Decision but the Government is "fully supportive of work at international level to create better national counter-terrorism legislation and best practices across Members States to increase investigative capability and the capacity to prosecute terrorist activity".[ 80] The Government intends to monitor closely any proposed changes to the Framework Decision to ensure that they reflect UK priorities.

·  Radicalisation Awareness Network: the Government envisages a role for the Network in sharing best practice between practitioners and Governments across the EU on countering extremist ideologies and in providing comparative analysis.

·  Countering radicalisation in prisons: the Minister notes that the UK has an extensive programme to address offending behaviour and prevent others from becoming radicalised, has participated in work carried out by the European Organisation for Prison and Correctional Services (Europris), and has shared its experiences with other Member States. He adds that "any further EU action in this area must fully respect the boundaries of Member State competence".[ 81]

6.33 The Government welcomes many of the actions proposed to disrupt organised crime, notably the proposed feasibility study on non-conviction based recovery of assets, and continuing EU support for Member States in the fight against illicit drugs and in tackling organised immigration crime, such as human trafficking and people smuggling.

6.34 Whilst expressing support for enhanced EU action on deactivated firearms, the Minister makes clear that EU legislation should be based on minimum standards to prevent weapons being reactivated. He expresses a concern that legislation based on common (rather than minimum) standards could prevent Member States from implementing stricter measures and responding quickly to new threats. Alongside legislation, the Government is keen to take forward "a package of joint non-legislative work" addressing the external dimension of trafficking in firearms and the security threat posed by a number of priority source countries. The Minister expresses disappointment that there is no specific reference to the need for an effective network to deal with forensic ballistics information to help trace the use of ammunition and firearms across borders. He adds:

    "As a minimum we are pressing Member States to develop a national capability to do this and to establish a single point of contact through which other Member States and Europol can share forensic ballistics information."[ 82]

6.35 The Minister urges caution in reviewing existing legislation on environmental crime:

    "The Government considers that the level and specific nature of sanctions are a matter for Member States, and that the current 2008 Directive on Environmental Crime provides a sufficient EU framework for this as it requires Member States to establish an appropriate sanctions regime for a range of listed criminal offences."[ 83]

6.36 Finally, on the Commission's third strategic objective, the Minister underlines the importance of enhancing Member States' capacity to tackle cybercrime "individually and collectively", working with the private sector, the EU Cybercrime Centre at Europol and Eurojust. He expresses the Government's support, in principle, for the proposed Directive on network information and security, adding:

    "the current focus of negotiations is to safeguard our national security interests, minimise regulatory burdens on UK business particularly with regards to reporting and to ensure that liaison with law enforcement agencies on cyber incidents is handled at a national level."[ 84]

6.37 The Minister expects the Justice and Home Affairs Council to agree Conclusions on the renewed EU Internal Security Strategy at its meeting on 16 June, but explains that they are likely to reiterate the Council's "key strategic aims" rather than simply endorse the Commission Communication, and that the Council's Committee on Internal Security (COSI) will be invited to develop an operational implementation plan.

Previous Committee Reports

None, but see our earlier Reports on the EU Internal Security Strategy for 2010-14 are relevant: Eleventh Report HC 428-xi (2010-12), chapter 4 (8 December 2010) and Eighth Report HC 219-viii (2014-15), chapter 15 (16 July 2014).

52   See p.2 of the Commission Communication. Back

53   The Forum would bring together Member States, the European Parliament, EU agencies, and representatives of civil society, academia and the private sector. Back

54   The most relevant EU agencies are Europol, the European Police College (CEPOL), the EU judicial cooperation agency (Eurojust), the agency for the management of operational cooperation at the EU's external borders (Frontex), the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the agency for large-scale IT systems (eu-LISA). Back

55   Further details are contained in our 2nd Report, HC-342-ii (2015-16), chapter 1 (21 July 2015).  Back

56   Article 67 TFEU. The area of freedom, security and justice encompasses policies on visas and border controls, asylum and immigration, judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, and police cooperation. Back

57   Articles 4 TEU and 72 TFEU. Back

58   Article 276 TFEU. Back

59   The European Council Conclusions of 26/27 June 2014. Back

60   Conclusions of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, 4 December 2014. Back

61   See p.2 of the Commission Communication. Back

62   See p.7 of the Commission Communication. Back

63   See p.10 of the Commission Communication. Back

64   See p.13 of the Commission Communication. Back

65   See para 18 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

66   See paras 20-21 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

67   The Prüm Council Decisions were amongst the measures which ceased to apply to the UK on 1 December 2014, following the previous Government's decision to exercise its block opt-out of pre-Lisbon EU police and criminal justice measures. The UK is entitled to seek to opt back into individual measures. For further details, see our Twenty-first Report of Session 2013-14, HC 683, and our Seventeenth Report of Session 2014-15, HC 762. Back

68   See para 26 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

69   See para 27 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

70   Ibid. Back

71   See para 28 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Operation Archimedes involved 34 participating countries and was coordinated by Europol. It sought to disrupt the activities of criminal groups involved in drug trafficking, human trafficking, people smuggling, organised property crime, and trade in firearms and counterfeit goods. It resulted in more than 1,000 arrests. Back

72   This is a UN initiative establishing an international framework for disaster risk reduction, based on voluntary commitments by participating States and other stakeholders. Back

73   See para 32 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

74   See para 33 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

75   See para 34 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

76   See para 35 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

77   See para 36 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

78   See para 38 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

79   See para 40 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. The TFTP is an Agreement between the EU and the US for the exchange of financial information to assist in countering terrorism and terrorist financing. Back

80   See para 41 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. This is one of the measures that ceased to apply to the UK on 1 December 2014 following the previous Government's decision to exercise its block opt-out of pre-Lisbon EU police and criminal justice measures. Back

81   See para 43 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

82   See para 47 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

83   See para 50 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

84   See para 52 of the Government's Explanatory Memorandum. Back

previous page contents next page

© Parliamentary copyright 2015
Prepared 30 July 2015