13th Security Union progress report and its highlights: Cybersecurity, interoperable systems for security & border management, prevention of radicalisation

The European Commission published its 13th report on the progress towards an effective and genuine Security Union. The report focuses on preventing radicalisation/ fighting terrorism offline & online, cybersecurity and, more importantly, on establishing interoperable EU information systems for security, border and migration management. In a first reaction, Gerrit van de Kamp, President of CESI’s Trade Council ‘Security’ and President of the European Police Union (EPU), welcomed the report, yet called for further efforts.

“There are many challenges the EU has in facing the threats of organized crime, terrorism but also radicalisation. More cooperation is needed in the field of security between different authorities. The European ‘Smarter Borders’ project is one example of a good practice which will have a great impact in the work of law enforcement officers in charge of border controls, if implemented correctly and without technological disparities between countries. The Passenger Name Record is another important tool against organised crime and terrorism”, he said.

Concerning the radicalisation, the report acknowledges the EU added value to the field, consisting in a number of initiatives such as: the establishment of the High-Level Expert Group on Radicalisation (interim report published in December 2017), supporting initiatives like the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), the EU Internet Forum and the European Strategic Communications Network (ESCN).

On cybersecurity, the security progress report mentions the impact assessment evaluation taking place in light of the forthcoming proposal for a Network of Cybersecurity Competence Centre with a European Centre at its heart. A Directive for combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash payments is proposed. In 2018 Europol will receive an additional budget of 5 million Euros to reinforce its capabilities to decrypt information in criminal proceedings. On the topic of establishing interoperable EU information systems for security, border and migration management, the security reports highlights the following targets:

  • the adoption of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)
  • the strengthening of the Schengen Information System (SIS)
  • the adoption of the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS)
  • a stronger mandate for eu-LISA enabling the agency to ensure the technical implementation of the new approach to the data management for borders and security
  • amending the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive in order to allow access of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) to relevant information, including land registries and to newly-created centralised bank account registries

In response to the practical efforts to set up better exchange of information between different EU member states authorities, the report mentions that only in 2017 1 million SIENA messages were exchanges between Europol member states and third parties.

The full 13th progress report is available on the European Commission’s website.

Picture: Security Union banner © europa.rs 2018