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 Full text 
Wednesday, 14 March 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

International co-operation in the fight against cybercrime - the threat to public services (topical debate)

  Roberta Metsola, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, let me start by thanking you, Commissioner, for your work on this issue. You will find us as a strong partner to continue to work forward on such an important subject, because the spike that we witnessed in online crimes over the last years should concern us all.

Cybercrime and criminals have become more organised, more brazen and more serious. They are using the very tools that we have created to make people’s lives easier against us. We have seen computer systems that we thought impregnable hacked. We have seen the spread of government-controlled social media trolls blur the lines between propaganda and views. There are still too many credit cards and identities stolen and far too many children remain exploited.

Tools created for the good of mankind, and which are largely used for good, are being abused, and we must respond by closing the loopholes. With the increasing number, nature and gravity of cybercrime, with the increasing prevalence of the dark net, we need more and better coordination between Member States at international level, as well as with the private sector, to protect EU citizens, companies and our critical infrastructure.

We need to ensure that our law enforcement authorities are provided with the necessary tools, resources and staff in order to effectively investigate and prosecute cybercrimes, and that this is done in full respect of fundamental rights and privacy expectations. From here, let me call on the Member States which have not yet done so, to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime – as we call it, the Budapest Convention. We have to work together and, of course, we need Europol, CEPOL, Eurojust and ENISA to be granted sufficient resources and tools in order to allow them to build the necessary capabilities to cope with the increasing workload and to continue their valuable work in the area of cybercrime.

Finally, together I know that we can find the solutions that keep people and companies secure online and respect citizens’ privacy, and go after the criminals who think that they can mask their identities.

(The President cut off the speaker)

Last updated: 16 July 2018Legal notice