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4 juin 2015 4 04 /06 /juin /2015 16:50
The EU's Train and Equip initiative

 

20-05-2015 - by SEDE

 

On 28 May the Subcommittee exchanged views on the EU's Train and Equip initiative with by Maciej Popowski, Deputy Secretary General, EEAS and Marcus Cornaro, Deputy Director-General for Geographic Coordination, DG DEVCO, European Commission.

 

Further information

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17 janvier 2015 6 17 /01 /janvier /2015 12:50
photo Frontex

photo Frontex

 

11/1/2015 EU source: European Commission Ref: EC15-008EN

 

Summary: 11 January 2015, Brussels – European Commission Memo on Fighting terrorism at EU level, an overview of Commission's actions, measures and initiatives


 

The fight against terrorism at EU level

 

What is Europe's role in the fight against terrorism, which is principally a national competence? What does the EU do to support Member States' efforts?

In 2010 the European Commission adopted an Internal Security Strategy for the period from 2010 to 2014. In the coming months, a European Agenda on Security will be adopted, as foreseen in the Commission working programme for 2015.

The fight against terrorism is principally a national competence. However, the European Union supports Member States' efforts in the following ways:

  • Creating a legal environment and framework for cooperation;
  • Developing common capabilities and systems such as the Schengen Information System (SIS) or the Civil Protection Mechanism;
  • Supporting, notably financially, the establishment of concrete and operational cooperation between practitioners and front line actors via, for example, the Radicalisation Awareness Network, ATLAS (network of the rapid intervention forces), Airpol (network of airports' police) in the fight against terrorism and working together with Member States and stakeholders e.g. in Chemical Biological, Radiological and Nuclear and explosives expert groups or the standing committee on precursors;
  • Ensuring that security and fundamental rights are built by design into all relevant EU level policies such as transport, energy, etc.
  • The Internal Security fund also provides financing to Member States in the field of internal security, including fight against terrorism.

 

What is the EU doing to prevent radicalisation and violent extremism?

In 2011, the Commission set up the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) which brings together first line practitioners from very different areas and countries with different societal challenges and background, working in the health or social sector, associations of victims, local authorities, representatives from diasporas and local police, prison or probation officers, teachers, etc. The RAN enabled the establishment of a vibrant network of experts that identify best practices, work with people – for instance on campuses or in prisons – who are drifting into extremism and violence.

In January last year the Commission put forward a set of actions to strengthen the EU's response to radicalisation and violent extremism. While preventing radicalisation and violent extremism is mainly the responsibility of the Member States, the European Commission and the RAN can assist in several ways, including by helping member States to put in place de-radicalisation programmes and by fostering dialogue and cooperation with civil society in order to prevent radicalisation and extremist violence. The European Commission has also proposed the creation of a European Knowledge hub on radicalisation and extremism aiming at continuing and expanding the work for which the RAN has already laid the foundation.

 

What is the EU doing to prevent the financing of Terrorism?

We need to effectively cut networks that facilitate terrorist activities from financing. To this end, the Commission will continue to support implementation of important instruments such as the network of EU Financial Intelligence Units and anti-money laundering initiative.

The EU concluded with the U.S. an agreement on access to transfer of financial data in the framework of the US Terrorist Finance Tracking Program ('TFTP Agreement') which is in force since August 2010. The Terrorist Finance Tracking System enables identification and tracking of terrorists and their support networks through targeted searches run on the financial data provided by the Designated Provider (SWIFT).

The TFTP Agreement is equipped with a set of robust safeguards to protect EU citizens' fundamental rights. Europol is responsible for verifying that U.S. requests for data comply with the conditions stipulated in the Agreement including that they must be as narrowly tailored as possible in order to minimise the volume of data requested. Each search on the provided data must be narrowly tailored and based on information or evidence demonstrating a reason to believe that the suspect of the search has a link to terrorism or its financing. Searches are monitored by independent overseers, including by two persons appointed by the European Commission.

Reciprocity is a basic principle underlying the Agreement and two provisions (Articles 9 and 10) are the basis for Member States as well as, where appropriate, Europol and Eurojust to benefit from TFTP data. Under the EU rules, National Treasuries must ensure the availability to law enforcement, public security, or counter-terrorism authorities of concerned Member States, and, as appropriate, to Europol and Eurojust, of information obtained through the TFTP. Since the Agreement entered into force in 2010, more than 7300 investigative leads were generated by the TFTP for the EU.

There is a significantly growing number of requests related to the phenomenon of travelling fighters (Syria/Iraq/IS). In 2014, there were 35 TFTP (Article 10) requests generating 937 intelligence leads of relevance to 11 EU Member States. The TFTP is also used, through Europol, to support the investigations of the French authorities related to the Paris attacks.

 

What is the EU focus on the protection against terrorist attacks?

The European Commission encourages national law enforcement agencies to cooperate even more on concrete activities to protect our citizens. To protect public areas considered as soft-targets, such as museums, sport and cultural areas, we will further develop guidance material on soft target protection, similar to the manual produced by the airport police network (AIRPOL). The Commission will further pursue our efforts to detect and respond to threats before they materialise – addressing all public areas as well as critical infrastructures.

 

What is the EU policy on victims of terrorism?

We support and empower the survivors and victims of such atrocious attacks by strengthening support groups and projects that enable to victims to tell their stories – as part of their recovery and as part to create new counter-narratives.

 

Stepping up the fight against terrorism

The European Commissionwill adopt in the months to come a European Agenda on Security for 2015-2020, as announced by the Commission, which will reorient the EU's internal security to meet the challenges posed by current criminal and terrorist threats. Several important elements are already under consideration:

  • continue to reinforce the efficiency of the Schengen Information System by even more stringent, targeted, informed and non-discriminating controls;
  • consider if existing legal penal framework needs reinforcement;
  • strengthen cooperation between Europol and other European agencies and threat assessment bodies, notably IntCen (Single Intelligence assessment Centre).
  • reinforce work to make relevant information accessible to law enforcement for the purpose of better preventing and pursuing criminal activities across EU and international borders;
  • reinforce the exchange of information at EU and international level on illegal firearms.

The European Commission will also continue to work with the European Parliament and the Council to adopt EU rules on a European Passenger Name Record system which will improve our capability to prevent and detect terrorism and serious crime in a world of unimpeded global travel.

 

What is PNR data and how can PNR databases help fight terrorism?

Passenger Name Record (PNR) data is unverified information provided by passengers and collected and held in the air carriers' reservation and departure control systems for their own commercial purposes. It contains several different types of information, such as travel dates, travel itinerary, ticket information, contact details, the travel agent at which the flight was booked, means of payment used, seat number and baggage information.

The processing of PNR data allows law enforcement authorities to identify previously unknown suspects whose travel patterns are unusual or fit those typically used by terrorists.

Analysis of PNR data also allows retrospective tracking of the travel routes and contacts of persons suspected to have been involved in terrorist acts, thus enabling law enforcement authorities to unveil criminal networks.

 

What is the state of play on an EU Passenger Name Record proposal?

In February 2011, the Commission presented a proposal for an EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive. The proposal would oblige Member States to set up PNR systems and establish strict data protection safeguards for the processing and collection of PNR data from flights to and from the EU.

The Commission is committed to ensuring the proposal, which should include high fundamental rights protection for EU citizens, gets adopted and is working closely with the European Parliament and the Council to this end.

 

How does the Commission intend to reinforce the efficiency of the Schengen Information System and of the Schengen area in general?

The existing Schengen legal and technical tools already ensure a high level of safety for European citizens. Member States need to use the existing instruments to the greatest extent so that all persons representing a threat to internal security are appropriately dealt with. The Schengen Information System (SIS II) has proven to be one of the most efficient tools in following the travel routes of foreign fighters through discreet or specific check alerts or to retain them at the external borders if their travel documents are invalidated and entered into SIS for seizure. The Commission is currently working together with Member States to develop a common approach on making the best use of the possibilities under EU law, both as regards checks on documents and checks on persons. The tools are there – it is up to Member States to use them.

 

What checks does the Schengen System allow for?

As far as the checks at the external borders are concerned, under the Schengen Borders Code the Member States must verify the travel documents of all persons – regardless of their nationality – at the external borders to establish the identity of the traveller. This includes verifying that the document is valid and not falsified or counterfeit. Member States can consult relevant databases (including the SIS database) for this purpose at each check. The Commission recommends that Member States carry out consultations of the databases more intensively, and is concerned that many Member States do not appear to be doing so.

At the same time, as regards checks on persons inside the Schengen area, Member States have the possibility, on a non-systematic basis, to consult national and EU databases to ensure that persons enjoying the right of free movement under Union law do not represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to the internal security and public policy of the Member States. Such verification is to be done on the basis of threat assessment, which can be quite wide-ranging and adapted to the threat represented by foreign fighters, and allows for checks on all persons covered by that threat assessment.  

As far as the checks within the Member States territories are concerned, the competent national authorities are entitled to carry out identity checks on persons present in their territory to verify for instance the legality of stay or for law enforcement purposes.

 

What are the rules to reintroduce internal border checks in the Schengen area?

According to Article 23 and following of the Schengen Borders Code, Member States may exceptionally reintroduce border control, where there is a serious threat to public order or internal security. For foreseeable events, a Member State must notify the other Member States and the Commission in advance. In cases requiring urgent action a Member State may immediately reintroduce border control at internal borders, while, at the same time, notifying the other Member States and the Commission accordingly. The reintroduction of border control is in principle limited to 30 days. In general, if a Member State decides to reintroduce border controls, the scope and duration of the temporary reintroduction cannot not exceed what is strictly necessary to address the serious threat.

 

How is the movement of illegal firearms currently regulated in the EU?

Even if the use of weapons in criminal attacks is not new, terrorists are using weapons more and more, in addition to the traditional strategy which was based on the use of explosives.

Movement of such weapons within the EU is regulated by a procedure laid down in Directive 2008/51/CE (so-called Firearms Directive) which establishes a system of authorisation for owners and traders of weapons for civilian use only. Military weapons cannot be traded to private persons. Under specific conditions only collectors can keep military weapons. Regulation 258/2012 on illicit manufacturing and trafficking of firearms establishes rules for export of weapons for civilian use. This system is based on an authorisation procedure following the provision of United Nations Protocol on firearms.

Last year the European Commission launched an evaluation aimed at improving current practices in the EU as regards marking, deactivation and destruction of firearms entering in the scope of EU rules on firearms and the legal requirement for purchasing alarm weapons and replicas within the EU. An additional evaluation was also finalised at the end of last year to examine possible policy options, including the approximation of various relevant offences, to better prevent, deter, detect, disrupt, investigate, prosecute and cooperate on illicit arm trafficking in the EU. Based on the results of the evaluation process carried out, the Commission decide on how to proceed to amend the Firearms Directive, which could lead to a proposal for stricter checks for some categories of weapons and by prohibiting the most dangerous weapons, which are already subject today to mandatory authorisation. A better exchange of information is also very important at EU and international level.

 

What the EU is doing to ensure that necessary funding is available to prevent organised crime and terrorism?

To promote the implementation of EU law enforcement cooperation, the management of risks and crises and the control of the Union's external borders, the Internal Security Fund (ISF) has been set up for the period 2014-2020 with a total budget of approximately EUR 3.8 billion (both components of the Fund).

The primary objectives of actions implemented in the upcoming period are fighting cross-border and organised crime including terrorism, preventing and combating radicalisation towards violent extremism and strengthening the capacity of Member States and the EU to assess risks to their societies and increase resilience to crises.

An important focus in spending the funds is placed on prevention. To achieve its objectives, the EU supports practical cooperation between Member States, the development of training schemes and knowledge platforms and the exchange of information between law enforcement authorities and Member States and EUROPOL. In terms of preventing crises, funding is provided to measures which enhance Member States' capacity to protect their critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks and to develop comprehensive threat assessments, including early-warning mechanisms.

Finally, the EU supports actions geared towards alleviating consequences of terrorism and extremism. Support to victims is an important component for which EU funding is used.

 

How can the EU support Member States affected by a major crisis?

Crisis management as well as the fight against terrorism remain principally national competences. The EU has, however, developed tools to support Member States affected by crises, including major terrorist attacks, and established crisis coordination arrangements.

‘Response’ is indeed one of the 4 pillars of the EU Counter Terrorism Strategy. The Solidarity Clause which was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty covers situations of terrorist attacks as well. The EU institutions and agencies as well as Member States are thus organised to give assistance to the affected Member States, through the mobilisation of all available instruments (information exchange, support to the investigations, EU Civil Protection Mechanism, etc.).

In the event of a terrorist crisis, the European Commission can also activate its crisis response mechanisms, including the secure crisis room located in the Strategic Analysis and Response (STAR) centre, which closely cooperates with the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), the European External Action Service (EEAS) and EU agencies (Europol, Frontex).

The Commission also supports cooperation between Member States in the field of preparedness, through the organisation of crisis management exercises, in particular with police special intervention units (the ATLAS network’s ‘Common Challenge 2013’ exercise), as well as to enhance cooperation between these units and the civil protection community (‘ARETE 2014’ exercise) to respond to complex crisis scenarios.

 

What is the EU doing on the security of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear and explosives?

The Commission will finalise the implementation of the Chemical Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) and Explosives Action Plans by the end of 2015. The basis for the Commission’s work on the security of CBRN substances and Explosives are two action plans: the EU CBRN Action Plan, which was adopted in 2009 and comprises a wide range of 124 actions from prevention and detection to preparedness and response, to be implemented by end of 2015, and the EU Action Plan on Enhancing the Security of Explosives, with 48 actions.

The Commission also monitors and facilitates the implementation of Regulation 98/2013 on explosives precursors by Member State authorities and economic operators.

 

For More Information

Homepage of the Directorate-General for Migration. Home Affairs:

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/index_en.htm

Homepage of European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission/2014-2019/avramopoulos_en

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23 novembre 2014 7 23 /11 /novembre /2014 12:50
HR/VP to VP/HR? the next generation

 

With the formal entry into office of the new European Commission chaired by Jean-Claude Juncker, a new organisation of the college and its services, as well as a new modus operandi across all EU services will be put to test. This applies to the Commission as a whole – to the extent that it will probably shape its entire mandate and future legacy.

But it will be particularly relevant for the area of foreign policy and external action, in view of the foreseeable implications – and possibly the unintended consequences – of the new setup for the role of the multi-hatted high representative for foreign affairs and security policy and vice-president (HR/VP). Five years after Catherine Ashton took up the newly created function of HR/VP, Federica Mogherini is taking over in a significantly different institutional landscape.

 

Download document

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21 novembre 2014 5 21 /11 /novembre /2014 17:50
Presentation of the Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan - SEDE

 

21-11-2014 SEDE

 

On 20 November the Subcommittee exchanged views on the forthcoming Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan with Paola Imperiale, Maritime Coordinator at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rudolf Roy, Head of Security Policy and Sanctions Division, EEAS and Beate Gminder, Head of Maritime Policy Mediterranean and Black Sea Unit, DG MARE, European Commission.
 
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6 novembre 2014 4 06 /11 /novembre /2014 20:50
Strenghtening Europe's Defence Industry : dual use and smart clustering
 

Brussels - 15 October, 2014 European Defence Agency

 

On Tuesday 25 November 2014, an event will be held on how to strengthen Europe’s defence industry through dual use technologies and smart clustering.

 

The one day event, which has been jointly organised by the European Defence Agency (EDA), the European Commission, and the European Association of Regional Development Agencies, will take place at the Management Centre Europe, Brussels.

The purpose of the workshop is to explore opportunities for defence-related clusters in Europe to develop dual use projects and activities. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the EU policies and tools to support clustering and dual use technologies as well as opportunities to network and share experiences with others working in similar areas across Europe. 

 

Background

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8 octobre 2014 3 08 /10 /octobre /2014 15:50
The future of CSDP-related research - SEDE

 

October 08, 2014, SEDE
 
The Subcommittee will debate the future of CSDP-related research with Denis Roger, Director, European Synergies and Innovation, European Defence Agency and Sławomir Tokarski, Head of Unit, Defence, aeronautic and maritime industries, DG Entreprise and Industry, European Commission
 
When: 13 October 2014

Further information meeting documents
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25 juin 2014 3 25 /06 /juin /2014 13:50
photo Dassault

photo Dassault

 

24/06/2014  Commission Européenne - MEMO/14/438  

 

Actions for a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector

 

In order to strengthen Europe’s defence industrial base and the Single Market for defence, the European Commission has put forward a series of concrete measures in a Roadmap (IP/14/718). This Memo provides a summary of the main actions proposed under this Implementation Roadmap.

 

Single Market

 

To ensure a firm foundation for the competitiveness of Europe's defence industrial base it is essential that there is a strong Single Market for defence. With this objective in mind, the Commission has agreed to undertake the following actions:

  1. Market Monitoring – analyse the impact of the Defence Procurement Directive 2009/81/EC through assessment of procurement opportunities published on the EU's Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) and other public sources.

  2. Clarification of exclusions from the Defence Procurement Directive – issue guidance notes to help Member States use these exclusions correctly in the areas of Government-to-Government sales and International Agreements/Organisations.

  3. Offsets – identify and fight unjustified discriminatory requirements in procurement. In parallel, the Commission will look together with Member States and industry at ways of promoting cross-border market access for SMEs by non-discriminatory means. To that end, the establishment of an ad hoc Advisory Group is envisaged.

  4. Security of Supply

  1. develop a roadmap for establishing an EU-wide Security of Supply Regime to be presented to the European Council in June 2015.

  2. propose measures to strengthen the implementation of the Defence Transfers Directive 2009/43 (introducing a licensing system to help movement of defence-related products within the EU) in a report to be prepared for June 2016.

  3. issue a Green Paper, by the end of 2014, on the control of defence and security industrial and technological assets.

 

Competitiveness

 

In addition to the Single Market there are areas of industrial policy that can support competitiveness of the defence industry. In particular the Commission will undertake actions on:

  1. Standardisation and Certification – work closely with the European Defence Agency (EDA) to develop new defence standards in Europe and, with the European Aviation Safety Agency, to support the EDA in the harmonisation of military airworthiness requirements.

  2. Raw Materials – screen raw materials critical for the defence sector and identify by mid-2015 whether any policy actions are required in support of Europe's defence industry's continued access to essential raw materials.

  3. SMEs, clusters & regions

  1. use the Enterprise Europe Network and other programmes to support SMEs and defence-related regions to network and identify new business opportunities inside and outside the EU.

  2. clarify conditions under which the European Structural and Investment Funds can be used to support dual-use projects.

  3. with the Association of Regional Development Agencies (EURADA) and the EDA, raise awareness of funding opportunities for regions and SMEs with targeted events (next in November 2014); a guidebook; and developing a network of regions interested in fostering defence-related industrial activities.

  1. Skills – prepare a communication campaign on EU-funding of skill-related initiatives and launch a study, in 2015, on current and future competencies and skill supply and demand for the defence sector.

 

Research and Innovation

 

Falling national investment in defence R&D is a long-term threat to the competitiveness of Europe's defence industry. Therefore the Commission will take action on the following:

  1. Dual-use research – maximise synergies between European civil (within the limits allowed by the civil focus of the Horizon 2020 research programme) and military research co-ordinated by the EDA.

  2. Preparatory Action – will be developed to illustrate the added-value of an EU contribution to CSDP-related research. A 'Group of Personalities' could be established to advise the Commission on issues relating to the scope and operation of such an Action.

Capabilities

While the issue of military capabilities is primarily for Member States the Commission can provide support through:

  1. A joint assessment with the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the EDA of dual-use capability needs - for both EU security and defence policies to identify potential synergies.

  2. Other projects – A Communication planned for 8 July 2014 will set out a roadmap for implementing the 'Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) for the EU maritime domain. The Commission is also working with the EDA to identify areas for further civil / military co-operation.

 

Space

 

The Commission believes that there are potential benefits in terms of reduced costs and greater efficiency to be gained from increased synergies between national and European space capabilities. In this regard the Commission will:

  1. Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) – the Commission will, through the Horizon 2020 research programme, look at ways of encouraging the development and renewal of SST assets.

  2. Satellite Communication (SATCOM) – use a user-group established with the European Space agency, EDA and the EEAS to tackle the fragmentation of demand for security SATCOM to support Member States to prepare the next generation of Governmental SATCOM.

Energy

The Commission aims to support the EU's armed forces in reducing their energy use for their own benefit and to make an important contribution to the EU's energy targets. In particular the Commission will launch the:

  1. Consultation Forum for Energy in the Defence and Security Sector– it will provide a platform for energy experts to discuss and advise energy policies in defence. Its main deliverables will be to develop specific guidance for the military on existing EU legislation and programmes governing energy efficiency and renewables; and to develop concepts for improving the protection of critical energy infrastructures.

 

International issues

 

With shrinking domestic demand, exports to third country markets have become increasingly important for Europe's defence industry. Within the limits of its competence, the Commission will undertake the following actions:

  1. Competitiveness on third country markets – establish a forum in the 4th quarter of 2014 to discuss with Member States and stakeholders how to support Europe's defence industry on third country markets.

  2. Dual-use export control – following the adoption of its Communication, on 24 April 2014, setting out the outcome of its review of export control policy, it will now conduct an impact assessment of the various review options identified in the Communication.

 

Background

 

The strategic and geopolitical environment is constantly evolving. The world’s balance of power is shifting as new centres of gravity are emerging and the US is rebalancing its strategic focus towards Asia. In this situation, Europe has to assume greater responsibilities for its security at home and abroad. The Union therefore needs a credible Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), underpinned by a competitive defence industry and efficient defence market structures.

 

Defence industry is not only of strategic importance for Europe’s security, it also plays a crucial role in the wider European economy. Its cutting-edge research has created important indirect effects in other sectors, such as electronics, space and civil aviation and provides growth and thousands of highly skilled jobs.

 

Armed forces all over the world are increasingly relying on assets that have their origins in civil technologies and applications. A stronger interaction between the civil and military sectors can act as a driver for more innovation and give a boost to the overall economic development of Member States. This underlines the need to further stimulate civ-mil synergies, which is in fact the thread running through the Commission’s proposals.

 

These proposals were set out in a Commission Communication adopted in July 2013 (IP/13/734 and MEMO/13/722). It set out a series of proposals to strengthen the Internal Market for defence, reinforce the competitiveness of the European defence industry and support defence research. This Communication was discussed at the European Council in December 2013 as part of its debate on ways to strengthen the CSDP. It welcomed the Communication in this context and decided to review progress in June 2015. The roadmap adopted by the Commission details modalities and timelines for the actions set out in the Communication, taking account of European Council conclusions.

 

More information

Defence industry - Working together to Support Europe's Defence

Defence procurement

EU internal defence market is opening slowly

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27 mars 2014 4 27 /03 /mars /2014 13:50
photo RP Defense

photo RP Defense

 

27-03-2014 SEDE

 

The Subcommittee will debate the next steps in strengthening the European defence industry with Slawomir Tokarski, Head of Unit, Defence, Aeronautic and Maritime industries, DG Enterprise and Industry.

 

When : 1 April 2014, 15:00-18:30    


Further information meeting documents

source LeFigaro

source LeFigaro

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16 mars 2014 7 16 /03 /mars /2014 20:50
Joint statement on Crimea by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso

 

 

Brussels, 16 March 2014 EUCO 58/14 PRESSE 140 PR PCE 53

 

As stated by all 28 EU Heads of State or Government on 6 March 2014, the European Union considers the holding of the referendum on the future status of the territory of Ukraine as contrary to the Ukrainian Constitution and international law. The referendum is illegal and illegitimate and its outcome will not be recognised.

 

The solution to the crisis in Ukraine must be based on the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, in the framework of the Ukrainian Constitution as well as the strict adherence to international standards. Only working together through diplomatic processes, including direct discussions between the Governments of Ukraine and Russia, can we find a solution to the crisis. The European Union has a special responsibility for peace, stability and prosperity on the European continent and will continue pursuing these objectives using all available channels.

 

We reiterate the strong condemnation of the unprovoked violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and call on Russia to withdraw its armed forces to their pre-crisis numbers and the areas of their permanent stationing, in accordance with relevant agreements.

 

In advancing these goals, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs will evaluate the situation tomorrow in Brussels and decide on additional measures in line with the declaration of the Heads of State and Government of the EU of 6 March.

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13 mars 2014 4 13 /03 /mars /2014 12:50
The forthcoming EU Maritime Security Strategy - SEDE

13-03-2014 SEDE

 

The Subcommittee will exchange views on the forthcoming EU Maritime Security Strategy with Didier Lenoir, acting Director of the Crisis Management and Planning Directorate, EEAS, and Beate Gminder, Head of Unit, Maritime Policy Mediterranean and Black Sea, DG MARE, European Commission.

 

When : 19 March 2014


Further information meeting documents

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7 mars 2014 5 07 /03 /mars /2014 16:50
European Commission Memo on the EU's Maritime Security Strategy

 

6/3/2014 EU source: European Commission Ref: EC14-061EN

 

Summary: 6 March 2014, Brussels - European Commission Memo on the EU's Maritime Security Strategy

 

Q: Why is the Commission and the High Representative proposing only elements for a strategy?

A: One of the objectives of this process is to ensure that the Member States are fully involved in the development of this strategy. A European Union maritime security strategy cannot be developed without the involvement of Member States since many operational activities are carried out by national authorities. The Commission and the High Representative are therefore looking forward to working closely with Member States in order to deliver a full-fledged strategy. We are confident that the strategy once adopted will represent the views and interests of all stakeholders.

 

Q: How have Member States been involved so far?

A: The Member States already have provided substantial input through events organised at EU level and through various written contributions. Additionally, the Commission and the European External Action Service organised a stakeholder consultation in June 2013, where Member States expressed their support to the general approach. The intention is that the Joint Communication will serve as a basis for further work on shaping the strategy together with the Member States in the EU Council under the leadership of the Hellenic Presidency.

 

Q: What would be the purpose of such a strategy?

A: The purpose of an EU Maritime Security Strategy would be to provide a common framework for relevant authorities at national and European levels to develop further their specific policies. The aim of such a strategy would be to protect EU's strategic maritime interests and identify options to do so. Such a framework would provide the context and ensure coherence amongst different sector specific maritime policies and strategies. Most importantly it would significantly strengthen the link between internal and external security aspects of the maritime policy of the EU and civil and military cooperation.

 

Q: What are the main aims?

A: The main aims of an EU Maritime Security Strategy should be: (1) to identify and articulate the main strategic maritime interests of the EU; (2) to identify and articulate the maritime threats, challenges and risks to the strategic maritime interests of the EU; and (3) to organise the response, i.e. provide the common policy objectives, common principles and areas of common support as the backbone of the joint strategic framework in order to create coherence for the diverse and wide array of sector specific maritime policies and strategies.

 

Q: Does the EU only have maritime interests or does it also have a maritime responsibility?

A: It is crucial to identify the strategic maritime interests of the European Union. The global maritime domain is of vital importance to the EU and it is multi-layered. It is a crucial domain for free commerce and trade. In addition, seas and oceans are interrelated eco-systems; it is a source of resources; open seas and coastal areas are zones for tourism etc. The EU is a global actor therefore it does not only have interests, it also has to take adequate responsibility. This global responsibility has to be transformed into concrete and specific actions and to promote the respect for international law, human rights and democracy, and rules-based good governance at sea.

 

Q: What does the term "cross-sectoral" mean?

A: The term 'cross-sectoral' refers to actions or cooperation between different marine or maritime functions. They are still largely organised in isolation of each other and often along national lines. Modern maritime risks and threats are multifaceted and can have implications for all of these sectors involving different policies and instruments. The responses therefore should be adequately integrated and cross-sectoral in their nature. It means finding a common maritime security interest among different functions and aspects concerned.

 

Q: What are the sectors addressed?

A: Some of the most evident sectors are maritime safety, maritime transport, marine environment protection, fisheries control, customs, border control, law enforcement, defence, research and development and others. A 'joined up' approach to maritime policy, making these sectors work better together, can make the security policy more coherent, effective and cost efficient.

 

Q: What is the added value of this strategy - what will change compared to the current situation?

A: The added value of a shared strategic framework is that it provides the necessary basis to ensure coherent actions and policy development. It also facilitates the coordination of all efforts and ensures that different policies are 'joined up'. The ambition is that the EU can become more resilient in addressing threats and risks in the maritime domain and as such it would be more capable at safeguarding its values, strategic maritime interests and promoting multilateral cooperation and maritime governance. In essence, the result of the strategy would be that maritime security activities would be much more coordinated than today.

Different policy frameworks have resulted in the European Security Strategy (ESS - 2003) and the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP - 2007), which have been developing separately. Also sector specific legislation is already in place like the maritime transport security legislation - Regulation (EC) No 725/2004 on enhancing ship and port facility security and Directive 2005/65/EC on enhancing port security, the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) improving the situational awareness and reaction capability of Member States and of the EU Border Agency Frontex at the external borders - Regulation (EU) No 1052/2013), SafeSeaNet, a Union maritime traffic monitoring and information system for EU waters, managed by EU Maritime Transport agency EMSA, or the 3rd Maritime Safety Package.

 

Q: How will the actions, identified in this strategy, be put in practice?

This depends to a large extent on the opinion of the Member States since many of them would fall under their competence, but already existing examples with joint deployment plans and enhanced information exchange systems can eventually lead to the use of common platforms for surveillance operations. This aspect will however need to be discussed in detail with Member States.

 

Q: Will such a strategy promote deployment of more naval missions similar to EUNAVFOR Operation ATALANTA?

A: The use of all possible tools and instruments should be considered when addressing a maritime insecurity situation. Each case requires a full evaluation of the situation in order to identify the best action. In the case of the piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia, which gravely endanger shipping routes in the Gulf of Aden, the deployment of international naval forces was deemed necessary as local capacities to ensure maritime security were not available.

 

Q: Why is such an initiative taken now?

A: Already on 26 April 2010 the Council invited the High Representative, together with the Commission and Member States 'to undertake work with a view to preparing options for the possible elaboration of a Security Strategy for the global maritime domain'. More recently in December, 2013, the European Council called for "an EU Maritime Security Strategy by June 2014, on the basis of a Joint Communication from the Commission and the High Representative, taking into account the opinions of the Member States". This is the direct response to these requests.

 

Q: What are the next steps?

A: Based on the elements proposed be the Joint Communication from the Commission and the High Representative, an EU Maritime Security Strategy should be elaborated within the appropriate EU Council bodies and be adopted not later than in June 2014.

European Commission Memo on the EU's Maritime Security Strategy

Note RP Defense : on EDA website : Further step taken in the MARSUR network development

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7 février 2014 5 07 /02 /février /2014 12:50
First EDA Supported Dual-Use Project Receives European Structural Funds

Brussels - 06 February, 2014 EU Defence Agency

 

The Portuguese authority managing European Structural Funds has recently confirmed the acceptance of the “TURTLE” project, financing around 60% of the total project budget. TURTLE is the first of seven dual-use research initiatives supported by the European Defence Agency to access European Structural Funds (ESF). It aims at developing key enabling technologies for a sustainable and long term presence in the ocean. 

 

The European Defence Agency (EDA) and European Commission (EC) coordinate their research efforts in the areas of defence and security: the use of existing EU supporting tools and funds for dual-use research projects is a means to promote innovation in Europe while retaining key technological and industrial capabilities. EDA  facilitates and supports access to dual-use R&T projects. The TURTLE project was developed by a consortium of Portuguese SMEs, research institutes and universities. Its aim is to produce new robotic ascend and descent energy efficient technologies to be incorporated in robotic vehicles used by civil and military stakeholders for underwater operations. In the defence sector, the technology will allow underwater unmanned marine systems and robotics to operate at lower cost and added capabilities. The Portuguese authorities now decided to co-finance TURTLE with around €770.000 (around 60% of the total project costs) through the ESF. 
 

EDA Support to Projects

The main objectives of EDA’s work on ESF are to raise awareness among Ministries of Defence and defence industry, with special focus on defence related SMEs, as regards the use of ESF; so far a series of dedicated workshops in different countries have been organised; EDA also identifies  and supports eligible pilot projects in R&T priorities and industrial capabilities for the European Structural Funds; and is developing a methodology to be used by the Ministries of Defence and defence industry to increase eligibility for future projects.

In terms of concrete support to projects, twelve Member States submitted 72 project proposals for screening. The Agency provided free-of-charge guidance and support to 44 projects and selected seven pilot projects (from Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, Portugal, France, UK and Spain) which were actively assisted in the development of the application folders. Out of the selected projects, two applications have been successfully submitted by the project holders to the national managing authorities for co-funding, while the rest will be submitted during the new financial framework 2014-2020. The Portuguese project “TURTLE” is the first EDA supported project for which a decision on funding has been taken.
 

Stimulating Dual-Use Technologies

The European Council of 19 December 2013 underlined the importance of stimulating dual-use research and support to SMEs. Embedded in the Agency’s Action Plan on SMEs, the Agency’s support for dual-use research projects is of concrete benefit for initiators. EDA will continue working with stakeholders to access European Structural Funds in 2014 in proposing a systematic approach, taking advantage of the programming period 2014-2020. Moreover the Agency will organise seminars in Member States with the participation of government, industry and research centers to mobilise stakeholders to apply for ESF for dual use R&T projects. Upon a second call, EDA will select additional projects to support the development of application folders focusing on identified priority areas such as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, space, energy efficiency, or cyber defence. 
 

Actors

TURTLE is developed by the following entities:

  • Silva Matos Metalomecanica S.A (Small-Medium Enterprise): The main promoter, responsible for all mechanical and market introduction; 

  • INESC PORTO (Technology & Science Laboratory): Responsible with ISEP for the robotization of the TURTLE project; 

  • ISEP (School of Engineering, Porto Polytechnic Institute) and 

  • CINAV (Portuguese Navy Research Center): responsible to develop acoustic detection adapted to the solution and demonstrate the use in security application. 

 

More information

 

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18 décembre 2013 3 18 /12 /décembre /2013 14:50
EDA Assists Dual-Use Projects to Access Funding

 

Brussels - 18 December, 2013 European Defence Agency

 

The European Defence Agency (EDA) together with the European Commission (EC) support industries and institutes active in dual-use research to access European Structural Funds (ESF), with special focus on SMEs. Recently, seven projects have been selected according to technical eligibility criteria and R&T priorities and assisted in the application process.

 

EDA and EC coordinate their research efforts in the areas of defence and security. Moreover, exploiting existing EU supporting tools and funds for dual-use research projects is a means to promote innovation in the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) while retaining key technological and industrial capabilities in Europe.  EDA’s work on ESF analyses the potential of accessing ESF for dual-use R&T projects and to provide interested stakeholders with a methodology to do so.

SMEs are the backbone of the European economy with more than 20 million SMEs in the EU representing 99% of business. European SMEs often develop dual-use goods or services in a wide range of industries: energy, telecom and ICT, automotive, material, chemical, aeronautics and space etc. Innovation in the supply chain depends massively on SMEs, which are a key enabler for future industrial competiveness. EDA consequently developed and currently implements an SME Action Plan with a menu of supporting measures including facilitating access to ESF.  

“The main goal of EDA’s Action Plan on SMEs is to ensure that key technical and industrial priorities are developed and maintained in Europe. In a climate of budget constraints, we need to efficiently use existing EU instruments to harness synergies for civil-military research”, said Claude-France Arnould during a press briefing on 12 December. Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General of DG Enterprise and Industry at the European Commission added at the same occasion that cross-fertilisation between civil and defence was an increasingly important factor for the future of the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base. The European Commission thus encouraged and promoted civil-military synergies. 

 

Awareness, project support & methodoloy

The main objectives of EDA’s work on ESF are to raise awareness among Ministries of Defence and defence industry as regards the use of ESF and a series of dedicated workshops in different countries have been organised so far; to identify and support eligible pilot projects in R&T and industrial capabilities for the European Structural Funds; and to develop a methodology to be used by the Ministries of Defence to increase eligibility for future projects.

In terms of concrete support to projects, twelve Member States submitted 72 project proposals for screening. While the Agency provided guidance and support to 44 projects, it selected seven pilot projects (from Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, Portugal, France, UK and Spain) which were actively assisted in the development of the application folders. Out of the selected projects, two applications have been successfully submitted by the project holders to the national managing authorities for co-funding, while the rest will be submitted during the current or the next financial framework 2014-2020.

Janusz Michalcewicz, CEO of the Polish SME EUROTECH which applied for project funding for developing an airborne collision avoidance system for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and Very Light Aircraft in low-altitude airspace based on numerical image processing, confirmed during the press briefing that access to additional funding was essential for innovative dual-use research. He highlighted that the necessary administrative procedures to access ESF pose a heavy burden on SMEs. The support provided by the EDA and the Polish Ministry of Defence was therefore essential for his company to proceed with the research.

 

Next steps

ESF has the potential to become an additional source of funding research and innovation dual-use projects in the field of security and defence. After an experimental phase in 2013, EDA will promote a more systematic approach in support of Member States, taking advantage of the programming period 2014-2020.

 

More information

 

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6 novembre 2013 3 06 /11 /novembre /2013 18:50
EDTA press release in response to the EC Communication on Defence and Security

 

05.11.2013 Jan Wind Director at WISER Consultancy

 

Call for improved “branding”, access to funding and an efficient market

 

Technology is everywhere. For the armed forces the availability of top class technology is often a matter of life and death. Technological knowledge, funding for technology and capability development, efficient procedures and market rules are crucial for engineers and industry to support the armed forces effectively.

 

From this perspective EDTA compiled comments to the Communication on the European Defence and Security Sector as has been adopted by the European Commission on 24 July 2013.

 

Read and download the full press release and all detailed comments

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29 septembre 2013 7 29 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
New European Defence Industrial Policy

26 Jul 2013  by Jan Wind 

 

On 24 July 2013 the European Commission adopted a "Communication on the European Defence and Security Sector".

This document sets out proposals of the Commission to strengthen the internal market and support the competitiveness of the defence and security industries. Intention is to have this new policy endorsed by the European Council on Defence in December 2013.
 
Download the policy paper below or follow this link for more details on the DG Enterprise and Industry website.

EDTA supports the "Eurodefense" network to compose a response to this policy paper from a technical and industrial point of view.
The response will be send to the European ministers of defence.
 
Individual members of EDTA associations are invited to contribute their views to this paper. 
 

Please send us your remarks, comments and proposals before 5 October 2013.  


Use this form or email your comments to jw@fedta.eu

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26 juillet 2013 5 26 /07 /juillet /2013 11:50
Securing the future of European defence

Faced with growing global volatility, strategic shifts, daunting fiscal realities and declining defence capabilities, Europeans must rethink the political, operational and economic facets of their security and defence commitments.

 

The Communication ‘Towards a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector’, adopted by the European Commission on 24 July, provides an important contribution ahead of the European Council meeting in December which will discuss concrete proposals to bolster the Common Security and Defence Policy.

 

Download document

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25 juillet 2013 4 25 /07 /juillet /2013 14:50
EU Flags Defense Sector Revamp Ahead of Summit

Jul. 24, 2013 Defense News (AFP)

 

BRUSSELS, BRUSSELS CAPITAL REGION — The European Commission on Wednesday set out recommendations to improve Europe’s fragmented and cash-strapped defense industry, with a focus on pooling resources in areas with dual military and civilian applications.

 

The ideas were drawn up at the request of European Union member states, who are to discuss defense issues at a summit in December.

 

There has been notoriously little cross-border cooperation on defense, an area where the EU occupies a backroom role compared to NATO.

 

The commission highlighted potential areas of cooperation between civilian and military research to boost competitiveness and generate home-grown know-how shared across EU borders.

 

It cited satellite applications as a key example, and suggested offering incentives to reduce what have often proved prohibitive costs for European producers.

 

The commission also envisages a beefed-up, EU-badged role in peacekeeping and peace-enforcement beyond its borders.

 

The defense sector in the EU already provides some 400,000 jobs and generated turnover of around 96 billion euros (US $125 billion) in 2012.

 

But sharp cuts to government budgets due to the eurozone debt crisis have left the commission arguing that research, technology, manufacturing and procurement should all be better integrated, to make money go further.

 

Special EU rules that allow governments to close off procurement for sensitive defense contracts will also be up for debate by leaders in the run-up to the defense summit.

 

Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso — who did little to douse what he told journalists was “speculation” that he may be a candidate to head up NATO next year — said “the US is asking Europe to do more.”

 

He said a more integrated defense approach would be “complementary to, but not in contradiction with, NATO.”

 

He underlined that “the commission has no intention of buying military equipment.”

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25 juillet 2013 4 25 /07 /juillet /2013 09:37
« L'industrie de Défense, un atout stratégique pour l'Europe » par Arnaud Danjean, député européen

24 juillet 2013 creusot-infos.com

 

« La communication sur l'industrie de sécurité et de défense présentée aujourd'hui par la Commission Européenne est une contribution importante au débat qui doit s'engager à tous les niveaux en vue du sommet européen de décembre » a déclaré mercredi l’eurodéputé UMP-PPE Arnaud Danjean, président de la sous-commission Sécurité et défense du Parlement européen.

 

« Ce texte, préparé par les commissaires Barnier et Tajani,  que la sous-commission Défense du Parlement européen avait auditionnés récemment, met en évidence l'atout stratégique que constitue l'industrie de défense européenne, tant sur les plans économiques que technologiques et opérationnels » a indiqué Arnaud Danjean.

 

« Je suis particulièrement satisfait de voir figurer explicitement, à plusieurs reprises  dans la communication, la notion d'autonomie stratégique, à savoir la nécessité pour les Européens de pouvoir décider et agir sans dépendre des capacités de pays tiers.

 

Ceci suppose que l'Union européenne identifie des capacités et technologies-clefs dans lesquelles des investissements européens pourront intervenir, et pour lesquels le contrôle des chaines d'approvisionnement sera assuré. Voir ces priorités explicitement reconnues par la Commission est rassurant, tant il est important que les spécificités du secteur de la Défense soient reconnues et s'inscrivent dans la vision plus large d'une Europe acteur de sa propre sécurité » a-t-il poursuivi.  

 

« La possibilité d'acquisition, par l'UE, de certaines capacités civilo-militaires, ainsi que les investissements communautaires possibles dans la recherche et le développement de ces technologies duales, sont des pistes prometteuses ».

 

« La Commission européenne se fixe ainsi des objectifs légitimes dans la limite de ses compétences. Il reste à espérer que les Etats-Membres, qui conservent l'essentiel des responsabilités en matière de défense, prennent pleinement conscience de la menace de déclassement stratégique du continent européen et s'accordent sur les priorités politiques et capacitaires pour enrayer cette tendance dramatique » a conclu Arnaud Danjean.

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25 juillet 2013 4 25 /07 /juillet /2013 08:50
Communication on the European Defence and Security Sector adopted on 24 July 2013

24 July 2013 ec.europa.eu


The Communication sets out Commission proposals to strengthen the internal market and support the competitiveness of the defence and security industries.

  1.  European Commission Communication pdf - 111 KB [111 KB] : Towards a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector
  2. Commission Staff Working Document pdf - 788 KB [788 KB] accompanying the Communication
  3. Citizen's summary pdf - 21 KB [21 KB] български (bg)čeština (cs)dansk (da)Deutsch (de)eesti keel (et)ελληνικά (el)español (es)français (fr)hrvatski (hr)italiano (it)latviešu valoda (lv)lietuvių kalba (lt)magyar (hu)Malti (mt)Nederlands (nl)polski (pl)português (pt)română (ro)slovenčina (sk)slovenščina (sl)suomi (fi)svenska (sv) on reforming the defence and security sector

The Commission's defence industrial policy is designed to promote competition, innovation, support SMEs and provide a strong industrial base for the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

At the heart of this policy is the Defence Package, designed to set out a modern policy and legislative framework to improve competitiveness, introduce greater transparency and cut unnecessary red tape. The strategy includes two directives aiming to simplify the transfers of defence-related products within the EU and coordinate procedures for contract awards in the fields of defence and security.

Following the adoption of the Defence Package and the transposition of the legislation, the Commission established a Task Force on Defence Industries and Markets.  Its objective is to examine what more the Commission can do to support Member States to help improve the competitiveness of the defence industry and strengthen the internal market.

 

Why is more competition necessary?

  • The European defence market is highly regulated at a national level. Europe's defence-related industries (primarily the defence part of sectors such as aeronautics, space, electronics, land systems and shipbuilding) largely operate outside the internal market.
  • Fragmented markets create red tape, hamper innovation and lead to duplication of defence programmes and research – undermining our global competitiveness and the effectiveness of the CSDP.
  • Reduced defence budgets and escalating development costs make it too expensive for any single European country to maintain a comprehensive national defence industrial base.

The defence industry is mostly concentrated in six Member States (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK) although companies producing ancillary equipment and systems are found all over Europe. More than 1.350 SMEs play an important role in the European defence sector and are of critical importance to the supply chain.

The defence sector can provide an important contribution to regional economic development. In order to introduce the concept of smart specialisation and regional policy funding to European companies and research centers the European Commission and the European Defence Agency carried out a workshop on 28 January 2013. For more information see the agenda, the presentations and the proceedings of the event.

The European defence equipment market is technology and research-intensive (electronics, IT, transport, biotechnology and nanotechnology – with many important spin-offs in civil sectors, e.g. satellite navigation).

 

Data on the industry can be found on the European Defence Agency website.

 

Defence package - for more information refer to the Legislation page.

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4 juillet 2013 4 04 /07 /juillet /2013 11:50
NSA Photo Jason Reed

NSA Photo Jason Reed

3/7/2013 EU source: European Commission-  Ref: SP13-074EN

 

Summary: 3 July 2013, Strasbourg - Speech by Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, EU Commissioner for Justice, on "U.S. and EU Member State surveillance programmes: National security does not mean that anything goes" at a Plenary Session of the European Parliament

 

MAIN MESSAGES

 

1/ On the NSA spying allegations:

 

It is a matter of mutual trust and good practices in relations between friends and allies. It is clear that for negotiations on the trade agreement with the US to succeed, there needs to be confidence, transparency and clarity among the negotiating partners. This excludes spying on EU institutions.

 

2/ On the US PRISM programme:

 

The purpose [of the transatlantic working group] is to establish the facts and for the Commission to be able to assess the proportionality of the programmes with regard to the data protection of EU citizens.

 

The US appears to take our concerns regarding PRISM seriously. Attorney General Eric Holder committed, in a letter to me yesterday, to set up the expert group. We spoke yesterday evening on the phone and we agreed that the group will have its first meeting this month, and a second one in Washington in September. The Commission will report about the findings of the group to Parliament and Council in October.

 

3/ On the UK's TEMPORA programme:

 

The message is clear: the fact that the programmes are said to relate to national security does not mean that anything goes. A balance needs to be struck between the policy objective pursued and the impact on fundamental rights, in particular the right to privacy. It is a question of proportionality.

 

As regards next steps, we will continue the discussion with the UK on the Tempora project.

 

4/ On the EU's data protection reform:

 

PRISM and Tempora are a wake-up call for us to advance on our data protection reform for both the private and the public sector. A strong framework for data protection is neither a constraint nor a luxury but a necessity.

 

Various elements of the reform are of particular relevance. It will clarify the territorial application of the law, including to companies operating in the EU. It will have a broad definition of personal data. It will clarify regime for international transfers. It will impose obligations and responsibilities on processors as well as controllers of data.

 

[I]t has become urgent to proceed on a solid piece of legislation. Any delay in the data protection reform only plays in the hands of those who do not share the objective of a high level of data protection.

 

SPEECH

 

The news over the past weeks and days has been deeply disturbing. Revelations, claims and counter-claims have been made at a dizzying speed. This debate is a useful opportunity to explain the different strands of the issue and to make sense of what the EU can do to address the situation.

 

I believe that we should carefully distinguish between two aspects to the problem. The first concerns international diplomatic relations. The second concerns the rights of EU citizens.

 

As regards the first matter of alleged spying on EU and EU Member States' diplomatic premises, the Commission has raised its serious concerns with the US. Yesterday, the President made a statement to this House in the context of the debate on the European Council Conclusions. The issue was also discussed by Vice-President Ashton directly with State Secretary Kerry. It is a matter of mutual trust and good practices in relations between friends and allies.

 

It is clear that for negotiations on the trade agreement with the US to succeed, there needs to be confidence, transparency and clarity among the negotiating partners. This excludes spying on EU institutions.

 

The second issue, related to the right of EU citizens, was debated here one month ago. I am happy to update you on latest developments.

 

In relation to the revelations on the PRISM programme and the Verizon case, I asked a series of questions in a letter to my US counterpart, Attorney-General Eric Holder, on 10 June. I have also spoken with him at the EU-US Justice Ministerial on 14 June in Dublin.

 

I raised our concerns regarding the impact of Verizon and PRISM on the fundamental rights of EU citizens. I asked for clarifications on the different levels of protection that apply to US and EU citizens. And I asked about the conflict companies can find themselves in when they are faced with competing obligations under US and EU law.

 

Some explanations for which I am awaiting written confirmation were given. But all questions have not been answered so far. This is why after the Ministerial I have written again, together with my colleague Cecilia Malmström, to our US counterpart asking for answers in particular on the volume of the data collected, the scope of the programmes and the judicial oversight for Europeans.

 

At the Ministerial in Dublin, we agreed with the US to set up a transatlantic group of experts to establish the facts surrounding these programmes. The purpose is to establish the facts and for the Commission to be able to assess the proportionality of the programmes with regard to the data protection of EU citizens.

 

The US appears to take our concerns regarding PRISM seriously. Attorney General Eric Holder committed, in a letter to me yesterday, to set up the expert group. We spoke yesterday evening on the phone and we agreed that the group will have its first meeting this month, and a second one in Washington in September. The Commission will report about the findings of the group to Parliament and Council in October.

 

At the EU-US Ministerial, I called once again for the conclusion of the negotiations for an EU-US Umbrella Agreement on data transfer for law enforcement purposes. An agreement that would guarantee equal treatment of EU and US citizens when their data is processed for law enforcement purposes. I urged my US counterpart to take the necessary steps to ensure real progress.

 

In response to media reports about the UK Tempora Programme, I have addressed a letter to Foreign Secretary William Hague and asked to clarify the scope of the programme, its proportionality and the extent of judicial oversight that applies.

 

The message is clear: the fact that the programmes are said to relate to national security does not mean that anything goes. A balance needs to be struck between the policy objective pursued and the impact on fundamental rights, in particular the right to privacy. It is a question of proportionality.

 

As many of you said in our last debate in June, programmes such as PRISM and Tempora are a wake-up call for us to advance on our data protection reform for both the private and the public sector.

 

A strong framework for data protection is neither a constraint nor a luxury but a necessity. It will help reverse the trend of falling trust in the way in which data is handled by companies to which it is entrusted.

 

That's why our proposed reform is an important part of the answer. It will maintain the current high level of data protection in the EU by updating citizens' rights, guaranteeing they know when their privacy has been violated and making sure that when their consent is required, the consent is real.

 

Various elements of the reform are of particular relevance. It will clarify the territorial application of the law, including to companies operating in the EU. It will have a broad definition of personal data. It will clarify regime for international transfers. It will impose obligations and responsibilities on processors as well as controllers of data.

 

Only a strong data protection regime can bring this trust both for EU citizens and for businesses and contribute to stability and growth of the digital economy. And trust is also the basis for EU-US cooperation in the field of law enforcement.

 

As many of you said in June, it has become urgent to proceed on a solid piece of legislation. Any delay in the data protection reform only plays in the hands of those who do not share the objective of a high level of data protection.

 

The whole world is watching us on this. And the debate on PRISM and similar programmes only reinforces that we have a chance to set a gold standard for data protection.

 

As regards next steps, we will continue the discussion with theUKon the Tempora project.

 

Together with the Presidency, we have started the discussion on the transatlantic expert group which will include experts from Member States. Based on the information gathered, the Commission will report back to the European Parliament and to the Council in October.

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1 juillet 2013 1 01 /07 /juillet /2013 17:50
Statement by the European Commission on alleged surveillance of EU premises

1/7/2013 EU source: European Commission Ref: EC13-118EN

 

Summary: 1 July 2013, Brussels - Statement by the European Commission on alleged surveillance of EU premises

 

These are disturbing news if proven true. They demand full clarification.

 

As soon as the media reports about alleged spying and eavesdropping on EU premises and delegations were made known, the Commission asked the European External Action Service to immediately raise the matter with the US authorities in Washington DC and in Brussels to verify the veracity of these reports.

 

Baroness Ashton, High Representative and Vice- President of the Commission, who has competence on these issues as they concern external relations matters relevant for both the EU institutions and its MS, issued a statement already yesterday, and has since spoken to Secretary of State Kerry directly.

 

The EU is now expecting to hear from the US authorities. Clarity and transparency is what we expect from partners and allies, and this is what we expect from the US.

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14 juin 2013 5 14 /06 /juin /2013 11:50
Workshop: Doing Business with European Security and Defence Bodies
Vienna | Jun 14, 2013 European Defence Agency
 

On 12 June 2012, the European Defence Agency together with the Austrian Ministry of Defence and Sports and the Austrian Defence and Security Industry Association was hosting a workshop on Doing Business with European Security and Defence Bodies in Vienna.

 
The workshop targeting governmental and industrial representatives from Austria and the Visegrad countries brought together European customers and suppliers in the field of security and defence and provided specific guidance to industries on how to successfully engage with defence and security related entities in Europe. Speakers included the Austrian Armaments Director, LtGen Freyo Apfalter, the EDA’s Armaments Director, Giampaolo Lillo and NSPA’s Director of Procurement, Patrick Fesquet, as well as high-level representatives of the European Commission, Frontex, Athena and OCCAr.
 
The workshop tackled different fields of the European Security and Defence Market, including Security Research, Defence R&T, European Development Programmes and Off-the-Shelf Purchases of both goods and services, which are increasingly conducted through common or centralised procurement by or through EU bodies.
 

Co-organiser Karl-Heinz Dernoschegg from the Austrian Defence and Security Industry Association stated at the end of the event that this was a perfect way to bridge the gap between supply and demand in the area of defence and security. He continued by saying that his association would be happy to host events of this kind on a more regular basis and considers this a very good model for other countries and associations to follow.

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12 février 2013 2 12 /02 /février /2013 12:50
LogoEDA COLOR

 

More than 100 people from technology clusters, wider industry, research centres and regional and national authorities, together with the European institutions attended the European Defence Agency - European Commission workshop on Regional Smart Specialisation for Europe’s defence sector on 28 January 2013.

 

 

European Commission Logo A joint initiative of EDA and European Commission, supported by the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions, the workshop was launched with the objective of increasing awareness of the potential for policies on smart specialisation and regional policy funding to support European companies and research centres working in the field of defence. In parallel it provided regional decision makers with practical knowledge on the potential of the defence sector to support regional economic development. 

 

Europe’s defence industry, formed by many world class companies large and small, has long been a driving force for technical innovation, wealth generation and business growth across Europe but with constrained defence spending there is a need for new approaches. In this context the workshop addressed three key themes;

 

  • increasing the cross-fertilisation between the military and civil sectors;
  • promoting best practice for defence related industry centres of excellence/clusters contributing to regional development;
  • investigating the support that regional policy can offer to defence-related SME supply chain.

 

The workshop is a practical example of how European Commission instruments and EDA expertise can be fused to help support Europe retaining an innovative and competitive industrial base, one better able to meet the defence capability requirements of Member States.

 

Over the coming weeks EDA and European Commission will be analysing the workshop proceedings to see what lessons can be learnt and what concrete measures can be undertaken – to support the defence industry. This input is also very timely as the European Commission is preparing a Communication in support of the competitiveness of the defence industry and the internal market, which is expected to be finalised by June 2013.  

 

 

Publications

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7 février 2013 4 07 /02 /février /2013 18:50

cyber warfare

 

7/2/2013 Ref: EU13-049EN

 

Summary: 7 February 2013, Brussels - A free and open Internet is at the heart of the new Cyber Security Strategy by the European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton and the European Commission. The new Communication is the first comprehensive policy document that the European Union has produced in this area. It comprises internal market, justice and home affairs and the foreign policy aspects of cyberspace issues.

 

The Strategy is accompanied by a legislative proposal (a Directive) from the European Commission to strengthen the security of information systems in the EU. This would encourage economic growth as people's confidence in buying goods online and using the Internet would be strengthened.

The Strategy is offering clear priorities for the EU international cyberspace policy:

  • Freedom and openness: The Strategy outlines the vision and principles on applying the EU core values and fundamental rights in cyberspace. Human Rights should also apply online and we will promote cyberspace as an area of freedom and fundamental rights. Expanding access to the Internet should promote democratic reform worldwide. The EU believes that increased global connectivity should not be accompanied by censorship or mass surveillance.
  • The laws, norms and EU core values apply as much in the cyberspace as in the physical world: The responsibility for a more secure cyberspace lies with all players of the global information society, from citizens to governments.
    Developing cyber security capacity building: The EU will engage with international partners and organisations, the private sector and civil society to support global capacity building in third countries. It will include improving access to information and to an open Internet and preventing cyber threats.
  • Fostering international cooperation in cyberspace issues: To preserve open, free and secure cyberspace is a global challenge, which the EU will address together with the relevant international partners and organisations, the private sector and civil society.

 

FAQ's on the International aspects of the Cyber Security Strategy

How can the core values be ensured in the worldwide web?

 

One example is human rights, which should also apply online as the European Union will promote cyberspace as an area of freedom and fundamental rights. Expanding access to the Internet should advance democratic reform worldwide. The EU believes that increased global connectivity should not be accompanied by censorship or mass surveillance.

 

What EU norms and laws should be used in cyberspace?

 

The responsibility for a more secure cyberspace lies with all players of the global information society, from people to governments. The EU supports the efforts to define norms of behaviour in cyberspace that all stakeholders should adhere to. Just as the EU expects citizens to respect civic duties, social responsibilities and laws online, so should states abide by norms and existing laws. An important pre-condition for free and open Internet that brings political and economic benefits to societies worldwide, is to maintain a multi-stakeholder governance model of the Internet.

 

Will there be new laws to address cyber threats?

 

No, the EU believes we have many international law instruments already that should be applied in cyberspace. However, some governments have proposed new treaties and conventions in cyber issues that the EU cannot support. We fear that the argument of cyber security will be used as a pretext to justify limiting the freedom of expression and access to information. For instance, the Budapest Convention includes all the important elements to assist in investigation, prosecution, and international cooperation to address cybercrime.

 

At present 49 countries have signed the Convention and many countries outside Europe have introduced its principles into their legislation. The EU has assisted the Council of Europe in disseminating the principles of this Convention worldwide, and we are currently financing new programs to promote the Budapest Convention and increase the rule of law in this area.

 

What does the EU intend to do on capacity building?

 

The EU will engage with international partners and organisations, the private sector and civil society to support global capacity-building in third countries. It will include improving access to information and to an open Internet and preventing cyber threats. The EU will also actively participate in developing donor coordination for helping capacity-building efforts. These actions will focus on enhancing criminal justice capabilities in training prosecutors and judges, and introducing the Budapest Convention (Cybercrime Convention) principles in recipient countries' legal framework, building law enforcement capacity to advance cybercrime investigations and assisting countries to address cyber incidents.

 

How does the Strategy contribute to international cooperation in cyberspace?

 

To preserve an open, free and secure cyberspace is a global challenge, which the EU should address together with the relevant international partners and organisations, the private sector and civil society. The EU will place a renewed emphasis on dialogue with third countries and international organisations, with a special focus on like-minded partners that share EU values. At bilateral level, cooperation with the United States is particularly important and will be further developed.

 

What the EU is doing on cyber defence issues?

 

Within the Common Security and Defence Policy, the European Defence Agency (EDA) is developing cyber defence capabilities and technologies, improving cyber defence training & exercises. Given that threats are multifaceted, synergies between civilian and military approaches in protecting critical cyber assets should be enhanced. These efforts should be supported by research and development, and closer cooperation between governments, the private sector and academia in the EU.

 

The EU is also promoting early involvement of industry and academia in developing solutions and in strengthening Europe's defence industrial base and associated R&D innovations in both civilian and military organisations. The EDA will promote civil-military dialogue and contribute to the coordination between all actors at EU level - with particular emphasis on the exchange of good practices, information exchange and early warning, incident response, risk assessment and establishing a cyber-security culture.

 

Why does the Strategy address civilian and military issues?

 

Given that threats are multifaceted, synergies between civilian and military approaches in protecting critical cyber assets should be enhanced. These efforts should be supported by research and development, and closer cooperation between governments, the private sector and academia in the EU. To avoid duplication, the Union will explore possibilities on how the EU and NATO can complement their efforts to heighten the resilience of critical governmental, defence and other information infrastructures on which the members of both organisations depend.

 

Are the EU and NATO cooperating in cyber security?

 

There is a regular cooperation going on between the experts. After the Strategy is adopted, we intend to intensify cooperation with NATO in cyber security. Dialogue with NATO should ensure effective defence capabilities, identify areas for cooperation and avoid duplication of efforts.

Next Steps

The Directive must pass through the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament before adoption whilst the Cyber Security Strategy will remain as it is as it is not legislation.

Links

DG Connect

http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/cyber-security

EU Justice and Home Affairs

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/index_en.htm

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