TERRORISM: TRANSMISSION OF SECURITY INFORMATION
Letter from the Chairman to Rt Hon Charles
Clarke MP, Home Secretary, Home Office
Sub-Committee F (Home Affairs) of the House
of Lords Select Committee on the European Union considered this
document at a meeting on 29 March.
We agree that many of the objections you raise
in your Explanatory Memorandum appear to be well founded. The
added value is doubtful, and the resources involved potentially
considerable. While we are not qualified to assess the security
implications, we appreciate the concerns listed in paragraph 12
of the memorandum. We note that adoption of this Decision requires
unanimity, and believe that the Government should not accept this
proposal unless and until satisfied with it on security and other
We would be glad to be kept informed of developments,
and propose for the present to keep the document under scrutiny.
29 March 2006
Letter from Rt Hon Charles Clarke MP to
I am writing in reply to your letter of 29 March,
following my Explanatory Memorandum on the proposed Council Decision.
Your Committee said that the document would be kept under scrutiny,
and indicated that they would like to be kept informed on developments.
As the proposal for a Council Decision was formally discussed
at the Article 36 Committee for the first time on 11-12 April,
I am now able to provide you with an update.
Having been adopted by the Commission on 22
December 2005, the draft Council Decision was officially submitted
to the Council on 16 January 2006. Since then, we have been considering
this proposal in consultation with colleagues from other Member
Whilst we are in principle open to ideas for
developing information exchange at EU level, we remain of the
view that this particular proposal is unnecessary and potentially
damaging to security within the European Union, and that the case
for a new mechanism for the exchange of information, and the added
value of such arrangements, has not been made. This was a view
shared by other Member States. Indeed, at the Article 36 meeting
on 11-12 April, no single Member State was prepared to speak in
Since then, we have submitted written comments
to this effect, reaffirming our belief that, as a matter of principle,
the EU should not legislate on the activities of Member States'
security and intelligence agencies or on the use of their sensitive
information. This would still be the case whatever adjustments
were made to the detail of the Commission's proposal.
Given the level of opposition from other Member
States with which the proposed Council Decision has been met to
date we do not expect it to proceed, but will keep you informed
of any further developments.
5 May 2006