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Procedure : 2010/2308(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0143/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0143/2012

Debates :

PV 21/05/2012 - 17
CRE 21/05/2012 - 17

Votes :

PV 22/05/2012 - 6.2
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0207

Texts adopted
PDF 110kDOC 54k
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - Strasbourg Final edition
European Union's internal security strategy
P7_TA(2012)0207A7-0143/2012

European Parliament resolution of 22 May 2012 on the European Union's Internal Security Strategy ((2010/2308 (INI))

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard, in particular, to Articles 6, 7, 8, 10(1), 11, 12, 21, 47-50, 52 and 53 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,

–  having regard, in particular, to Article 2 and Article 3(2) of the Treaty on European Union, and to Chapters 1, 2, 4 and 5 of Title V (Area of Freedom, Security and Justice) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to the Council decision of 25 February 2010 on setting up the Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security (COSI)(1) ,

–   having regard to ‘The Stockholm Programme – An open and secure Europe serving and protecting citizens’ and the Commission communication entitled ‘Delivering an area of freedom, security and justice for Europe's citizens – Action Plan Implementing the Stockholm Programme’ (COM(2010)0171),

–  having regard to the European Union Internal Security Strategy (‘Towards a European Security Model’) as adopted by the Council on 25 and 26 February 2010,

–  having regard to the European Union Counter-Terrorism Strategy as adopted by the Council on 30 November 2005,

–  having regard to the Commission communication to Parliament and the Council entitled ‘The EU Internal Security Strategy in Action: Five steps towards a more secure Europe’ (COM(2010)0673),

–  having regard to the Commission communication to Parliament and the Council entitled ‘First Annual Report on the implementation of the EU Internal Security Strategy’ (COM(2011)0790),

–  having regard to the Commission communication to Parliament and the Council on ‘Strengthening Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Security in the European Union – an EU CBRN Action Plan’ (COM(2009)0273),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 24 and 25 February 2011 on the Commission communication on the European Union internal security strategy in action,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 8 and 9 November 2010 on the creation and implementation of a EU policy cycle for organised and serious international crime,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on setting the EU's priorities for the fight against organised crime between 2011 and 2013,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) of 17 December 2010 on the Commission communication ‘EU Internal Security Strategy in Action: Five steps towards a more secure Europe’,

–  having regard to Europol's EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT 2011),

–  having regard to Europol's EU Organised Crime Threat Assessment (OCTA 2011),

–  having regard to the 2003 European Security Strategy(2) and the 2008 report on its implementation report(3) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 November 2009 on ‘the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – An area of freedom, security and justice serving the citizen – Stockholm programme’(4) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2011 on organised crime in the European Union(5) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 September 2011 on the EU's efforts to combat corruption(6) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 December 2011 on ‘the EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges’(7) ,

–  having regard to the relevant European and national constitutional court jurisprudence dealing with the criterion of proportionality and the need for it to be respected by public authorities in a democratic society,

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of Committee on Foreign Affairs (A7-0143/2012),

A.  whereas the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon has further consolidated the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) in terms of respect for fundamental rights and the different legal systems and traditions of the Member States; whereas policies in this area are a shared competence between the Union and the Member States, in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty;

B.  whereas the Treaty of Lisbon has thus strongly anchored EU security policy to a specific EU rule of law, laying the foundations for the development of a security agenda closely shared by the EU and the Member States and subject to democratic oversight at European and national level; whereas the reinforcement of this policy must be based on democratic values, human rights and fundamental freedoms;

C.  whereas all security policy must include a prevention component, which is particularly essential in a period in which economic and social inequalities are growing and thus jeopardise the effectiveness of fundamental rights;

D.  whereas the Stockholm Programme emphasised that an EU internal security strategy should be developed in order further to improve security in the Union, thus protecting the lives and safety of EU citizens and effectively combating organised crime, terrorism and other threats while respecting fundamental rights, the principles of international protection and the rule of law;

E.  whereas neither the Member States nor the Commission have as yet envisaged any role for Parliament in this process, despite the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty;

F.  whereas the Commission communication on the Internal Security Strategy (ISS) for the period 2010-2014 has identified five priority areas in which the EU can provide added value, namely fighting and preventing serious and organised crime, terrorism and cybercrime, strengthening the management of the external borders, and building resilience to natural and man-made disasters;

G.  whereas the first Commission annual report on the implementation of the ISS acknowledged that all five objectives identified in 2010 remain valid, and outlined the current state of play, the progress made so far and the way forward;

H.  whereas the Stockholm Programme stated that ‘developing, monitoring and implementing the Internal Security Strategy should become one of the priority tasks of the [COSI]’;

1.  Welcomes the work undertaken in order to set up an ISS and the main principles underpinning the European Security Model as developed in the ISS, especially as regards the reinforced relationship between security, freedom and privacy and cooperation and solidarity between Member States; underlines that EU security measures and cooperation have to comply with the Union's fundamental rights obligations and focus on targeted law enforcement and intelligence activities with proven capacity to lower crime rates and prevent terrorist attacks;

2.  Emphasises that freedom, security and justice are objectives that must be pursued in parallel, and believes that the implementation of the EU Charter must be the core of any fully-fledged ISS; recalls that, in order to achieve freedom and justice, security must always be pursued in accordance with the principles of the Treaties, the rule of law and Union's fundamental rights obligations;

3.  Notes the progress made by the Member States and the Commission in the context of the EU policy cycle on organised and serious international crime with a view to implementing the general strategic objectives through actions based on intergovernmental cooperation at operational level; believes, however, that a clear division of tasks between EU and national levels is necessary, that Parliament needs to be part of the process as regards policy guidance, implementation and evaluation of results, and that an in-depth assessment of the European policy cycle should be undertaken in 2013; considers, moreover, that in the light of its nature the cycle should be renamed the ‘EU operational cycle’; calls on the Member States to regularly assess the complementarity of national plans for countering organised crime with plans which are to be developed at European level, and to analyse the results achieved and the future prospects from a European strategic and operational viewpoint involving the EU institutions, the relevant EU agencies and the national parliaments;

4.  Considers, furthermore, that it is essential to provide appropriate financial resources in the 2014-2020 multiannual framework for the implementation of such a strategy through the respective fund;

5.  Recalls that competence for security policies is shared between the EU and the Member States, and that this is an area in which subsidiarity needs to be respected; takes the view that the ISS framework could add value to the efforts of all the EU institutions and the Member States in this field by means of a comprehensive and coherent approach;

6.  Takes the view that a comprehensive EU evidence- and knowledge-based analysis of the threats to be addressed is an essential prerequisite for an effective ISS, and that Europol, with the support of other EU institutions, bodies and agencies, should conduct such EU-wide analysis, on the basis of a more transparent and robust methodology for threat assessment and relying on comprehensive contributions from the Member States;

7.  Recalls that the European Parliament is now a fully-fledged institutional actor in the field of security policies, and is therefore entitled to participate actively in determining the features and priorities of the ISS and of the EU Security Model and in evaluating those instruments, including through regular monitoring exercises on the implementation of the ISS, to be conducted jointly by the EP, national parliaments and the Council under Articles 70 and 71 TFEU and Article 6(2) of the Decision setting up the COSI;

8.  Endorses, in this connection and on the basis of the existing cooperation between the European Parliament and national parliaments, the idea of a ‘parliamentary policy cycle’ – which must be finely tuned to, inter alia, the Commission's annual reporting in this field – concluding with an annual parliamentary report on the current state of play as regards the ISS;

9.  Underlines the importance of coherence and synergies between the internal and external aspects of security, and underscores the importance of ensuring that measures and actions implementing the ISS are in compliance with Union's fundamental rights obligations, in particular Articles 2, 6 and 7 TEU, and its external policy objectives as laid down in Article 21 TEU, as well as with international human rights and humanitarian law; takes note of the Joint Paper on strengthening the ties between the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and Freedom, Security and Justice (JHA) actors and the actions outlined in the Road Map; emphasises the importance of appropriate exchange of information, consultation and cooperation with all relevant actors, as also of solutions aimed at anticipating rather than reacting to events; looks forward to the outcome of the work carried out in the framework of the implementation of the Stockholm Programme on complementarity between Member State and EU actions in the external dimension of JHA, as well as undertakings with a view to the possible updating of the EU External Security Strategy;

10.  Emphasises that the entire ISS should in the long term concentrate more on the clear link between external threats and the lack or inefficient use of strategies and measures which could be a key component in preventing security threats, such as targeted development assistance, strategies for reducing poverty, or restoration programmes for natural or man-made disasters;

11.  Takes note of the definition of the five key areas for which different concrete actions have been proposed at EU and Member State level; considers that these objectives are not exhaustive and that the order of priorities could have been better structured; underlines that the fight against terrorism and organised crime is and must remain a key priority within the ISS; considers that the issue of resilience to man-made and natural disasters, including failures of critical infrastructure, must also be addressed; notes, however, that it does not appear fully justified or appropriate to take action in the field of the enforcement of intellectual property rights – a matter which is part of a specific in-depth debate – within the framework of the ISS;

12.  Believes that organised crime, in all its forms including mafias, constitutes a growing threat to freedom, security and justice for EU citizens and that fighting it must remain a priority, in line with the recommendations set out in its resolution of 25 October 2011 on organised crime in the European Union, on the basis of specific data and information on existing cooperation between the EU and the Member States in the fight against mafias, money-laundering, corruption, white-collar crime and other forms of organised crime;

13.  Calls on the Commission and Council to prioritise the fight against corruption in the context of the EU security agenda, and to allocate the appropriate resources, considering that the Stockholm Programme (4.1) lists corruption among the transnational threats that continue to challenge the internal security of the Union and require a clear and comprehensive response;

14.  Recalls the importance of preventing and combating terrorism and related activities, including its funding, and looks forward to the proposal for a framework for administrative measures such as freezing of the funds of persons suspected of terrorism pursuant to Article 75 TFEU; in addition, moving beyond the specific framework of the ISS, calls on the Commission and the Member States to consider adopting specific legislation on the victims of terrorism in order to recognise their public character, and to include more detailed provisions that ensure adequate protection, support and recognition;

15.  Considers it of the utmost importance to decisively combat environmental, economic and corporate crime, the impact of which is particularly detrimental to the living conditions of EU citizens, especially in times of crisis; regrets in this regard the measures taken by certain Member States aimed at weakening penalties for offences in these areas; also emphasises the discrepancy between proposals in these areas and the stigmatisation of certain less important crimes;

16.  Welcomes the fact that the fight against cybercrime has been prioritised in the ISS, and underscores the importance of focusing on prevention; notes and supports the Commission's pledge to develop, in 2012, an overarching European strategy for internet security; urges the Member States to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime;

17.  Reiterates that enhancing EU police and judicial cooperation, including through Europol and Eurojust as well as through appropriate training, is critical to a proper ISS, and must involve the competent authorities in the Member States as well as EU institutions and agencies; calls on the Commission and the Member States to make this a priority for the ISS; also calls for proper and consistent legal instruments facilitating the use of evidence;

18.  Emphasises the contribution of CSDP missions to fostering respect for the rule of law and maintaining peace and security in the EU's neighbourhood and worldwide, thus helping to prevent state failure and eliminate safe havens for transnational criminal and terrorist activity;

19.  Regrets that, in this connection, the ISS still lacks a proper ‘justice dimension’; recalls, in line with the Stockholm Programme, that mutual trust must be strengthened by progressively developing a European judicial culture based on the diversity of legal systems and on unity through European law, and that the judicial systems of the Member States should be able to work together coherently and effectively, in accordance with their national legal traditions: believes that the establishment of a set of priorities in the field of judicial cooperation must be seen in the context of the close link between all the dimensions of the Area enshrined in Title V TFEU, namely the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice; underlines the importance of proper implementation of agreements on judicial cooperation with third countries;

20.  Believes that, as regards the links between internal and external security, EU cooperation with other international institutions such as NATO and the OSCE should be further promoted;

21.  Stresses that the fight against terrorism is a priority for the ISS, whose objectives and tools must be properly evaluated as expressed in its resolution of 14 December 2011 on ‘the EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges’; points out that prevention and protection policies must be further prioritised, along with prosecution and response; in this context, takes the view that better focusing is needed on targeted law enforcement and on intelligence-driven activities that have proven capacity to prevent terrorist attacks and are carried out in accordance with the principles of necessity, proportionality and respect for fundamental rights and on a basis of proper oversight and accountability; recalls that this is essential if the EU is to be a credible actor in promoting fundamental rights both internally and externally;

22.  Considers it crucial to develop prevention mechanisms, in particular so as to permit the early detection of signs of violent radicalisation or threats, including threats from violent or militant extremism; recalls the importance of actions directed at countering violent radicalisation in vulnerable populations, and looks forward to the future work of the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network, with its mission of facilitating knowledge-sharing and awareness and identifying innovative solutions;

23.  Acknowledges the focus on border security in the context of the ISS, but believes that border management and human mobility are not just security issues but key features of a wider political strategy that involves the security dimension as well as immigration, asylum and development policies at EU level and policies supporting economic, social and democratic development and promoting human rights in third countries; stresses furthermore that security must be pursued on a basis of respect for the achievements of the Union, namely the right of free movement across internal borders;

24.  Reiterates the importance of ensuring the coordination of Member States' actions regarding the management of the external borders, and emphasises that close cooperation with the neighbouring countries that share borders with the EU is essential for facilitating free movement and enhanced solidarity and security at the external borders; stresses that the gradual introduction of Integrated Border Management should aim at facilitating travel;

25.  Takes the view, therefore, that the ISS should further reflect the vision of the Stockholm Programme, and considers it expedient to undertake a mid-term parliamentary review of the Stockholm Programme before the end of 2013, in order to assess its strategic, legislative and financial priorities; also considers that a complementary assessment is needed with regard to the relevant European agencies currently being ‘Lisbonised’ (Europol, Eurojust and the European Judicial Network), along with other agencies and bodies; recalls that the actions and operations of the agencies must conform to their mandate as defined in the decisions concerning their implementation and operation, and must respect democratic values and principles and the liberties and fundamental rights laid down in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;

26.  Recalls that the processing and collection of personal data in the framework of the ISS must in all circumstances comply with the EU's data protection principles, especially those of necessity, proportionality and legality, and with the relevant EU legislation in this field; welcomes the data protection proposals put forward by the Commission on 25 January 2012, but is of the opinion that the proposal for a directive in the field of judicial cooperation in criminal matters and law enforcement must be more ambitious and must provide for stronger safeguards, especially in its provisions on profiling and automated processing;

27.  Reaffirms, in this connection, the need for proper democratic oversight and evaluation of the work of AFSJ agencies, in order to avoid the risk of blurring the divide ‘between policy advice and actual policy-making’ in relation to those agencies;

28.  Urges the Vice-President/High Representative and the Commission to present their proposal – planned for 2011 – on the implementation of the solidarity clause, which should not duplicate existing initiatives, but, rather, define the framework for the use and coordination of available EU and national instruments, including the CSDP, in the situations referred to in Article 222 TFEU; is of the view that only with the full spectrum of possibilities opened up by the implementation of the solidarity clause among all Member States will the EU be ready to prevent – and react to, in a safe and coordinated manner – any given threat targeting the security of one or more Member States;

29.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ L 52, 3.3.2010, p. 50.
(2) ‘’A Secure Europe in a Better World – European Security Strategy'‘, approved by the European Council held in Brussels on 12 December 2003 and drafted under the responsibility of the EU High Representative Javier Solana.
(3) ’‘Report on the Implementation of the European Security Strategy – Providing Security in a Changing World'’, S407/08.
(4) OJ C 285 E, 21.10.2010, p. 12.
(5) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0459.
(6) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0388.
(7) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0577.

Last updated: 1 August 2013Legal notice