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EU to assume new security role

12th June 2009

Civil Liberty correspondent

 
EU plans new security powers
EU plans new security powers
 
Another step on the road to a United States of Europe is planned next month when Europe's justice ministers will hold talks on the "domestic security policy" and surveillance network proposals, known in Brussels circles as the "Stockholm programme".

The meeting planned for July 15th has the aim of finishing work on the EU's first ever internal security policy by the end of 2009.

An unelected French commissioner, Jacques Barrot; responsible for European justice and security yesterday publicly declared that the aim was to "develop a domestic security strategy for the EU", once regarded as a strictly national "home affairs" area of policy.

"National frontiers should no longer restrict our activities," he said.
Critics have warned that the plans would interfere with Britain’s internal security policies.

Tony Bunyan, of the European Civil Liberties Network (ECLN), has warned that EU security officials are seeking to harness a "digital tsunami" of new information technology without asking "political and moral questions first".

"An increasingly sophisticated internal and external security apparatus is developing under the auspices of the EU," he said.

Mr. Bunyan has suggested that existing and new proposals will create an EU ID card register, internet surveillance systems, satellite surveillance, automated exit-entry border systems operated by machines reading biometrics and risk profiling systems.

"In five or 10 years time when we have the surveillance and database state people will look back and ask, 'what were you doing in 2009 to stop this happening?'," he said.

A comprehensive guide to the Stockholm Programme can be found here.

 

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