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Commission presents a new set of EU measures to better protect European citizens
The "EU Internal Security Strategy in Action" adopted this week comprises 41 actions targeting the most urgent security threats facing Europe.
They include a shared agenda to disrupt criminal and terrorist networks, to protect citizens, businesses and societies against cybercrime, to increase EU security by smarter border management, and to strengthen the Union's readiness and response to crises.
"EU internal security has traditionally been following a silo mentality, focusing on one area at a time. Now we take a common approach on how to respond to the security threats and challenges ahead.
Terrorism, organised, cross-border and cyber crime, and crises and disasters are areas where we need to combine our efforts and work together in order to increase the security of our citizens, businesses, and societies across the EU.
This strategy outlines the threats ahead and the necessary actions we must take in order to be able to fight them. I encourage all relevant actors to take their responsibility to implement these actions and thereby to strengthen EU security", said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs.
Car theft, burglaries, drug dealing and credit card fraud are often local manifestations of global criminal networks operating across borders and in cyberspace. Criminals are increasingly using the Internet for both petty crimes and large scale attacks.
The EU external borders are being exploited for trafficking of drugs, counterfeit goods, weapons, and human beings, and criminal networks are draining revenue from public finances on a massive scale.
The International Monetary Fund estimates that profits generated by financial crimes alone amount to up to five percent of global GDP. Crises and disasters, whether they are earthquakes and floods or caused by human error or malicious intent, can cause human misery and economic and environmental damage.
At the same time, terrorists find new ways of harming our societies, including targeting susceptible individuals with violent extremist propaganda.
The Commission now proposes measures to address these challenges. A legislative proposal for confiscation of criminal assets is one of them. The EU should also help empower communities to address radicalisation and recruitment, and identify ways to better protect transport infrastructure, particularly land transport, against terrorism.
A European cybercrime centre is proposed to bring together expertise in investigation and prevention of cybercrime, and a series of steps for a smarter approach to border management and preparing for and responding to crises and disasters are in the pipeline.
The EU Internal Security Strategy in Action identifies five strategic objectives and outlines a series of actions for each of them, such as:
1. Disrupt international crime networks threatening our society
A series of proposals to quickly and efficiently seize and confiscate criminal profits and assets (2011).
Proposal on the use of EU Passenger Name Records (2011).
Proposal on monitoring and assisting Member States in the fight against corruption (2011).
2. Prevent terrorism and address radicalisation and recruitment
A policy for EU extraction and analysis of financial messaging data, EU TFTP (2011).
Establishment of an EU radicalisation-awareness network and measures to support civil society in exposing, translating and challenging violent extremist propaganda (2011).
Strengthening EU transport security policy (2011).
3. Raise levels of security for citizens and businesses in cyberspace
Establishment of an EU cybercrime centre (2013).
Establishment of a network of Computer Emergency Response Teams (2012).
Establishment of a European information sharing and alert system, EISAS (2013).
4. Strengthen security through border management
Establishment of European external border surveillance system, EUROSUR (2011).
Better analysis to identify 'hot spots' at the external borders (2011).
Joint reports on human trafficking, human smuggling and smuggling of illicit goods as a basis for joint operations (2011).
5. Increase Europe's resilience towards crises and disasters
Proposal on the implementation of the solidarity clause (2011).
Proposal for a European Emergency Response Capacity (2011).
Establishment of a risk management policy linking threat and risk assessments to decision making (2014).
The Commission will submit an annual progress report to the European Parliament and the Council. The Commission will support the Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security, COSI, which will play a key role in ensuring the effective implementation of the strategy.
The Internal Security Strategy is a key feature of the Stockholm Programme. In February 2010, the Spanish EU Presidency outlined the security challenges for the EU in an Internal Security Strategy ("Towards a European Security Model"), and called on the Commission to identify action-oriented proposals for implementing it.
For more information
Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/malmstrom/welcome/default_en.htm