Motion for a resolution - B9-0421/2020Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the EU Security Union Strategy

11.12.2020 - (2020/2791(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Juan Fernando López Aguilar
on behalf of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

Procedure : 2020/2791(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  


European Parliament resolution on the EU Security Union Strategy


The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), in particular Articles 2 and 3 thereof, and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), in particular Articles 4, 16, 67, 70-72, 75, 82-87 and 88 thereof,

 having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, in particular Articles 6, 7, 8, 11, 14, 21 and 24 thereof,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 24 July 2020 on the EU Security Union Strategy (COM(2020)0605),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 24 July 2020 on the EU strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse (COM(2020)0607),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 24 July 2020 on the 2020-2025 EU action plan on firearms trafficking (COM(2020)0608),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 24 July 2020 on the EU Agenda and Action Plan on Drugs 2021-2025 (COM(2020)0606),

 having regard to its resolution of 19 September 2019 on the state of implementation of the Union’s anti-money laundering legislation[1],

 having regard to its resolution of 10 July 2020 on a comprehensive Union policy on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing – the Commission’s Action Plan and other recent developments[2],

 having regard to its resolution of 12 December 2018 on the findings and recommendations of the Special Committee on Terrorism[3],

 having regard to its resolution of 19 September 2019 on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe[4],

 having regard to its resolution of 19 June 2020 on the anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd[5],

 having regard to its resolution of 26 November 2019 on children’s rights on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child[6],

 having regard to the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of 6 October 2020 in Joined Cases C-511/18 La Quadrature du Net and Others, C-512/18 French Data Network and Others and C-520/18 Ordre des barreaux francophones et germanophone and Others,

 having regard to the case law of the CJEU on mass surveillance and data retention,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 12 September 2018 on a Europe that protects: an initiative to extend the competences of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office to cross-border terrorist crimes (COM(2018)0641),

 having regard to recent Europol reports[7],

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs,

A. whereas the Union’s security policy must remain grounded in the values upon which the EU was founded and which are enshrined in Article 2 of the TEU, including the principles of democracy, individual freedoms and the rule of law, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights; whereas the right to security as laid down in Article 6 of the Charter refers to security from unreasonable arrests, searches and other state interventions; whereas the European project is based on the idea of an open society; whereas any limitation on the exercise of these rights and freedoms must be provided for by law, and respect the essence of those rights and freedoms; whereas, subject to the principle of proportionality, limitations may be made only if they are necessary and genuinely meet objectives of general interest recognised by the Union or the need to protect the rights and freedoms of others;

B. whereas the new EU Security Union Strategy should provide the appropriate responses for effectively addressing existing and emerging challenges in a rapidly changing European landscape of security threats; whereas the Commission has identified cybercrime, including identity theft, and cybersecurity, hybrid threats, disinformation, terrorist attacks and organised crime ranging from trafficking in human beings to trade in firearms to drug trafficking and financial, economic and environmental crime as the main challenges;

C. whereas there was a downward trend in terms of numbers of terrorist attacks in the EU in 2019, but the EU has recently witnessed new terrorist attacks; whereas several attacks committed by right-wing extremists were not officially recognised as terrorist attacks[8]; whereas the threat of jihadi terrorism remains high and whereas the threat of right-wing terrorism has been increasing in recent years; whereas the threat of left-wing terrorism continues to manifest itself in some Member States; whereas terrorism in all its forms and manifestations must be condemned and addressed; whereas the internet is one of the most frequently used instruments by terrorist organisations to spread terrorist content[9], recruit new members and incite violence;

D whereas according to a Commission report published on 30 September 2020[10], major gaps in the implementation of Directive (EU) 2017/541[11] have been reported in the majority of Member States;

E whereas new forms of organised criminal activity continue to emerge in Europe, exploiting changing societal vulnerabilities, with most organised crime groups involved in multiple criminal activities; whereas the profits of organised crime groups in the EU are estimated at EUR 110 billion per year, but only around 1 % of these profits are confiscated[12]; whereas there is a strong link between organised crime and corruption;

F. whereas in 2019, the Commission opened infringement procedures against 23 Member States for failing to comply with Directive 2011/93/EU of 13 December 2011 on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography[13]; whereas Member States have made progress in implementing the directive but challenges remain, notably with regard to prevention, criminal law, and protection, support and assistance for victims; whereas online sexual coercion and extortion of children, as well as sexual exploitation on the basis of explicit material produced by children themselves, is facilitated by the widespread availability of online devices; whereas a growing number of children and teenagers are falling victim to online grooming;

G. whereas sexual exploitation continues to be the most prevalent purpose behind trafficking in human beings in the EU, while an increase in trafficking for labour exploitation has been reported in several Member States[14]; whereas the number of convictions and prosecutions remains low in relation to the reported number of victims; whereas digital technologies, social media and internet services are major tools used to recruit trafficking victims;

H. whereas according to reports by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and Europol, the illicit drugs market in the EU, which is increasingly complex, adaptive and innovative, has an estimated retail value of around EUR 30 billion per year, and trafficking in illicit drugs represents a major source of income for organised crime groups, which may have links to other illegal activities and terrorism; whereas illicit drugs trafficking is becoming a driver for increasing violence and corruption and can have wide-ranging negative impacts on society; whereas drugs-related deaths in Europe appear to be stable at more than 9 000 fatalities every year[15] and whereas drug use remains an important public health issue;

I whereas in 2019 Europol continued to provide Member States with operational analysis and process contributions, as well as proactive support for high-profile investigations covering the three areas which pose a continuous threat to the internal security of the Union, namely cybercrime, serious and organised crime, and terrorism;

J. whereas in 2019, the Prüm Network had over 9.2 million DNA profiles available for comparison across all the databases of the Member States, with more than 2.2 million DNA searches made in that year; whereas, furthermore, there were almost 400 000 fingerprint searches yielding 10 000 verified hits, and more than 16 million vehicle registration data searches[16];

K. whereas judicial cooperation in criminal matters is one of the foundations of the Union area of freedom, security and justice, and is based on the principle of mutual recognition of judgments and judicial decisions; whereas mutual recognition needs to be based on mutual trust between Member States; whereas the investigation of many crimes requires electronically-stored evidence (‘e-evidence’); whereas the competent authorities often face practical difficulties in obtaining the relevant data from service providers in cross-border investigations owing to the ineffectiveness of the existing instruments, such as mutual legal assistance agreements and the European Investigation Order; whereas existing procedures can be lengthy and the relevant data has often been deleted by the time the request reaches the service provider; whereas the co-legislators are currently discussing a legislative package on e-evidence;

L. whereas the implementation of the Procedural Safeguards Directive[17], whose purpose is to ensure the fairness of criminal proceedings, has not been satisfactory, to the detriment of mutual trust and cooperation between judicial authorities;

M. whereas the CJEU has on several occasions ruled that blanket data retention and mass surveillance of electronic communications or of travel data is not compliant with the Charter of Fundamental Rights; whereas in its ruling on joined cases C-511/18, C-512/18 and C520/18, the CJEU upheld the case law from Tele2, concluding that only a targeted retention of data limited to specific persons or a specific geographical area is allowed; whereas the court also specified, however, that IP addresses assigned to the source of a communication may be subject to generalised and indiscriminate retention for the purpose of combating serious crime and serious threats to public security, subject to strict safeguards;

N. whereas the implementation of the Victims’ Rights Directive[18] has not been satisfactory, owing in particular to incomplete and/or incorrect transposition[19];

O. whereas the COVID-19 crisis has significantly exacerbated certain crimes, such as the production and distribution of child sexual abuse material online, with reports estimating that such material has increased by 25 % in some Member States; whereas between 70 % and 85 % of children who have suffered abuse know their abuser, and the vast majority are victims of people they trust; whereas reports of domestic violence, especially against women and children, have increased significantly during this period; whereas the pandemic has proven to have a considerable impact on the landscape of serious and organised crime throughout Europe in areas such as cybercrime, goods counterfeiting, fraud and organised property crime[20]; whereas the crisis causes delays and hinders access to justice, assistance and support, as well as aggravating prison conditions; whereas the crisis has aggravated the situation of migrants, making them more vulnerable to abuse by criminals, and caused smuggling routes to shift;

1. Welcomes the publication of the new EU Security Union Strategy and highlights the need for the effective implementation and evaluation of existing EU legislation in this area; agrees with the Commission that where gaps in the regulatory and enforcement framework have been identified, follow-up is needed in the form of legislative and non-legislative initiatives; stresses, furthermore, that measures in the framework of the Security Union Strategy must be sufficiently flexible to respond to constantly changing circumstances and criminal organisations changing their modus operandi;

2. Stresses that any new legislative proposal must be accompanied by a thorough and comprehensive impact assessment, including on the impact on fundamental rights and risks of discrimination; highlights the key role of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) in evaluating respect for fundamental rights;

3. Highlights that terrorism, irrespective of its nature, aims to threaten democratic societies in Europe and targets European values; deplores the many victims, particularly of jihadi attacks and right-wing extremism, over the past few years; emphasises the important work of law enforcement authorities, which have helped to foil many attacks; notes, however, that the terrorist threat in the EU remains high; urges the Commission to ensure the full and swift implementation of Directive (EU) 2017/541 on combating terrorism in all Member States; calls on the Commission to put forward a new EU counter-terrorism agenda addressing terrorist threats, which are based on various drivers such as those mentioned in the Europol TE-SAT 2020 report; calls for this agenda to include measures and action on coordination, intensified cooperation at national, regional and international level and information exchange between Member States’ competent authorities, on terrorism financing, on countering radicalisation offline and online, on prevention and education, on the fight against hate speech, racism and intolerance, and on protection, assistance and support for the victims of terrorism;

4. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to implement a holistic approach to preventing and countering radicalisation, which should combine security, education, social, cultural and anti-discrimination policies, and involve all the relevant stakeholders, including the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), grassroots community initiatives and grassroots community work, community-oriented policing, language and values integration, and lifelong education; reiterates its call on the Commission to use EU funds more effectively to this end, and to develop methodologies to assess the effectiveness of the relevant programmes;

5. Stresses that education, including the development of critical thinking, digital and online safety skills, is critical for medium- and long-term prevention and key to reducing radicalisation and disenfranchisement, which leads to criminal activity;

6. Reiterates that, while not the only factor, online terrorist content has proven to be a catalyst for the radicalisation of individuals and young people in particular, some of whom have committed terrorist offences as defined in Directive (EU) 2017/541; considers that the fight against social inequalities is crucial to tackling the root causes of radicalisation; stresses the need to swiftly identify and completely remove terrorist content online on the basis of clear legal provisions, including human review and appropriate and robust safeguards to ensure full respect for fundamental rights and constitutional standards; underlines that, although some progress has been made in this regard, companies need to be far more engaged in this process; calls for transparent mechanisms to be established in order to enable online terrorist content to be identified and reported swiftly, and to enable EU citizens to flag up such content; emphasises the need to strengthen the capabilities of Europol’s EU Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU);

7. Recalls that freedom of religion and freedom of expression are fundamental rights enshrined in Articles 10 and 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights; calls for the EU and its Member States to uphold these fundamental rights in the light of the recent religiously motivated terrorist attacks;

8. Welcomes the agenda for tackling organised crime announced by the Commission; reiterates its previous calls for the revision of Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA of 24 October 2008 on the fight against organised crime[21], and the need to establish a common definition of organised crime; considers that this common definition should also take into account the use of violence, corruption or intimidation by criminal groups to obtain control of economic activities or public procurement, or to influence democratic processes; believes that organised criminal groups can be more efficiently dismantled by depriving them of the profits from crime; stresses, in this regard, the need for further measures on freezing and confiscating assets, including on non-conviction based assets, and calls on the Member States to step up cooperation and information exchange in this regard; notes that emerging criminal activities such as environmental crime, organised property crime or trafficking in cultural goods should not be overlooked, as they often provide funding for other criminal activities;

9. Welcomes the Commission communication of 7 May 2020 on an Action Plan for a comprehensive Union policy on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing, which sets out further improvements in the EU’s response to these crimes, in particular in the enforcement and implementation of existing legislation; reiterates the need for better cooperation between administrative, judicial and law enforcement authorities within the EU, and in particular the Member States’ Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), including through; believes that the visibility of current cooperation models in the security area such as the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) should be increased; believes that the EU should lead the way on much needed Financial Action Task Force (FATF) reforms; believes that the Anti-Money Laundering Directive must be thoroughly evaluated and, if necessary, reviewed;

10. Reiterates its call on the EU institutions and the Member States to resolutely fight systemic corruption and to devise effective instruments for preventing, combating and sanctioning corruption and fighting fraud, as well as regularly monitoring the use of public funds; calls therefore on the Commission to immediately resume its annual anti-corruption monitoring and reporting, which should cover all Member States and the EU institutions, agencies and bodies; stresses, therefore, that EU funding under the new MFF and the Recovery Plan must be effectively prevented from being used for corruption and fraud by organised crime groups;

11. Recalls that Member States with residence and citizenship by investment schemes often facilitate corruption and money laundering, thereby importing security risks into the Union; welcomes the infringement procedures launched by the Commission[22] in this regard; reiterates its call on the Commission to fully use its right of legislative initiative to put forward a legislative proposal to ban or regulate these schemes;

12. Stresses the need to step up efforts at Union and national level to address the evolving phenomenon of child sexual abuse online and offline, including to prevent, detect and report child sexual abuse, to take down child sexual abuse material online, and to improve the investigation and prosecution of related offences; takes note of the Commission communication of 24 July 2020 on the EU strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse; takes note, further, of the Commission’s intention to present a new comprehensive legislative proposal requiring service providers to detect and report child sexual abuse online before June 2021; expects this proposal to be in full compliance with fundamental rights and accompanied by a thorough impact assessment;

13. Stresses that these measures need to be complemented by a public awareness campaign designed in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, including children’s rights organisations, which educates children, their parents, and teachers on dangers online; calls for better protection of children, including their personal data and privacy, on the internet, and asks Member States to support current networks and campaigns active in this field;

14. Calls on the Member States to fully implement Directive 2011/93/EU, and to provide appropriate human and financial resources to fully apply it as a matter of urgency; deplores the fact that the criminal code in several Member States provides for very light penalties for engaging in sexual activities with a child, which do not constitute an effective deterrent[23]; calls on the Member States to reassess these penalties, and to make the necessary legislative changes to swiftly bring their legal codes into line with the provisions of Directive 2011/93/EU; urges the Commission to assess whether this directive needs to be strengthened by including provisions on the protection of victims, support for them, and prevention of these offences;

15. Reminds the Commission of its call for the designation of an EU representative for children’s rights, who should serve as a point of reference for all EU matters and policy related to children; welcomes the Commission’s decision to include in the EU strategy of 24 July 2020 for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse the creation of a European centre to prevent and counter child sexual abuse, as requested by Parliament in its resolution of 26 November 2019 on children’s rights, as a focal point for a coordinated and multi-stakeholder European approach, including law enforcement, prevention and assistance to victims of child sexual abuse;

16. Stresses that end-to-end encryption contributes to citizens’ privacy, including protecting children on the internet, contributes to the security of IT systems, and that it is indispensable for investigative journalists and whistle-blowers, among others, wishing to report wrongdoing; points out that backdoors may severely compromise the strength and efficiency of encryption, and may be abused by criminals and non-EU external state actors seeking to destabilise our society; points to the fact that criminals swiftly adapt to new developments and exploit emerging technologies for illicit purposes; calls, therefore, on Member States and the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) to provide high quality training in relevant areas to law enforcement authorities; calls on the Commission to assess whether a regulatory solution could be found to enable lawful and targeted law-enforcement access to needed data while complying with fundamental rights;

17. Highlights that disinformation, especially when amplified by new technologies such as artificial intelligence and deep fakes, whether deployed by state or non-state actors, can represent a threat to democracy and security; calls on the Commission to make combating disinformation an integral part of our Security Union Strategy, including by allocating adequate funding; takes note of the European Democracy Action Plan, which addresses the challenge of disinformation as a potential threat to internal security; recalls the importance of awareness-raising campaigns to inform citizens about the fact that such disinformation techniques are used;

18. Acknowledges that countering hybrid threats that aim to weaken social cohesion and undermine trust in institutions, as well as enhancing EU resilience, are an important element of the Security Union Strategy; stresses, in this regard, the need for stronger cooperation between the Member States and for better coordination at EU level, between all the actors, in order to counter these threats; welcomes the key measures for countering hybrid threats set out by the Commission, and stresses the need to mainstream hybrid considerations into broader policymaking;

19. Stresses that new and evolving technologies permeate all aspects of security, and create novel security challenges and threats; highlights the importance of secured critical infrastructure, including digital and communication infrastructure; calls on the Commission to proactively plan for the research, development and deployment of new technologies for ensuring EU internal security, with full respect for fundamental rights and European values; underlines that the EU must not fund technologies that violate fundamental rights;

20. Highlights that 5G infrastructure is a strategic component of future European security and a key component of European strategic resilience; calls on the Commission to draft a plan for building European 5G, including funding for its development in Europe and a plan to phase out and replace 5G technology from third countries which do not respect fundamental rights and European values;

21. Notes that criminal smuggling is often intertwined with other forms of organised crime; expects the 2021-2025 EU Action Plan against Migrant Smuggling to propose actions to improve the capacity to prevent, identify, investigate and prosecute criminal smuggling networks; takes the view that among its key aspects, the Action Plan should address the use of social media platforms and online messaging platforms used by smugglers for advertising services and recruiting customers; believes that particular attention should be paid to unaccompanied minors, who constitute a highly vulnerable group and face various risks, including violence, abuse, and exploitation, along migration routes towards and within the EU[24]; takes note of the role of EU agencies and entities, notably Europol’s Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC); calls on Member States to comply with international law when dealing with humanitarian assistance to people in distress at sea in line with the Commission’s 2020 guidance;

22. Welcomes the adoption of the 2020-2025 EU action plan on firearms trafficking, including proper indicators and reporting provisions and encompassing South-East European partners (Western Balkans, Moldova and Ukraine), while stepping up cooperation with countries in the Middle East and North Africa; welcomes the Commission’s intention to introduce systematic and harmonised data collection on firearms seizures;

23. Calls for swift implementation of the preparatory action proposed by Parliament on efficient monitoring of the darknet at EU level, and calls on the Member States and Commission to look into further actions to prevent the trafficking of firearms in the darknet;

24. Welcomes the Commission proposal to confirm the Union and Member States’ commitment to protecting citizens’ health and security from drug-related threats through the adoption of a new EU Agenda on Drugs for the next five years; takes the view that Union drug policy should continue to pursue an integrated, balanced, multidisciplinary, evidence- and human rights-based approach, and be closely coordinated with the Union’s external action; insists that Union action on illicit drugs should devote comparable attention and resources to both the supply and demand side of the phenomenon, and calls for an increased focus on rehabilitation and prevention in the EU action plan, including by means of awareness-raising campaigns dedicated especially to children and young people;

25. Supports the participation of civil society and other relevant stakeholders in the ongoing discussions on the Commission communication on the EU Agenda and Action Plan on Drugs 2021-2025; takes the view that the Union and national responses to drugs-related challenges should be designed with the widest possible involvement of those concerned, including drug users; calls for the extension of the mandate of the EMCDDA to cover multiple addictions;

26. Takes note of the Commission’s plan to revise Europol’s mandate to enable it to become a hub for the exchange of information on law enforcement and for cooperation in the fight against terrorism and serious and organised crime in the EU; stresses that this new upgraded mandate should provide Europol with the relevant tools for cooperating more effectively with all the relevant partners; stresses that such changes should be accompanied by enhanced political accountability, as well as enhanced judicial control and parliamentary scrutiny, with a strong focus on accountability, transparency and respect for fundamental rights; stresses that the revision of Europol’s mandate should fully align the agency’s data protection regime with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725[25]; demands that an evaluation of the current legal framework for Europol’s mandate is presented as provided for by Article 68 of the current Europol Regulation;

27. Takes note of the possible modernisation of the legislative framework of the Prüm decisions; acknowledges the shortcomings and potential improvements identified by various experts, and attributed, inter alia, to insufficient data quality; recalls the importance of publicly available and accurate data regarding the use of Prüm, and calls on the Commission to gather this data from all participating Member States in order to properly evaluate the current Prüm framework and to allow for meaningful democratic scrutiny; demands that any new proposal contains the obligation for Member States to provide this data to the Commission, which must be used for regular and publicly available review reports; demands, further, that the proposal is accompanied by a thorough impact assessment, covering fundamental rights implications, which should demonstrate whether there would be added value in automatic data exchange, as well as whether any additional categories of biometric data are needed; stresses that any new solution has to respect the principles of necessity and proportionality, as well as the EU acquis on data protection, and provide for robust safeguards to protect fundamental rights;

28. Highlights that the Advanced Passenger Information (API) Directive[26] has contributed to more efficient border controls and the identification of persons posing security threats; notes the Commission’s intention to propose a new version of the API Directive to be compliant with Treaty of Lisbon provisions and the data protection acquis; expects this revision to be accompanied by a thorough impact assessment, including fundamental rights implications;

29. Recalls that important EU legislative initiatives have been finalised in recent years in order to detect criminals at its external borders and to improve the efficiency of police cooperation with the aim of contributing to a high level of security within the area of freedom, security and justice of the Union; recalls, further, that these initiatives include a new architecture for EU information systems and their interoperability, and that attention should now be focused on their timely implementation, with full respect for fundamental rights;

30. Stresses that sufficient capacity for information processing by law enforcement is a vital part of the entire chain of security efforts in the Union as a whole; points out that insufficient capacity in one or more Member States seriously weakens the effectiveness of EU security policies; calls on the Commission to do everything in its competence to ensure adequate capacity for processing information in the Member States;

31. Acknowledges Eurojust’s work in supporting and coordinating the work of national judicial authorities in investigating and prosecuting transnational crime; calls for increased efforts to promote mutual trust among judicial authorities, including through the effective implementation of the Procedural Roadmap Directives, and to facilitate and accelerate the exchange of information and communication in the judicial sector in the European Union; stresses that judicial cooperation in criminal matters is lagging behind in digitalisation; calls on the Commission and the Member States to provide judicial authorities with financial support to secure adequate analytical standards and appropriate digital tools, to facilitate and accelerate their cooperation, and allow for secure exchange of information; welcomes the Commission communication of 2 December 2020 on the digitalisation of justice in the EU, and the proposal for a regulation on a computerised system for communication in cross-border civil and criminal proceedings (e-CODEX system);

32. Points out that judicial cooperation between Member States and the mutual recognition of judicial decisions and judgments should be improved, including by means of a timely and correct implementation of judicial cooperation instruments in criminal matters; points out that certain developments in the rule of law situation in several Member States have impacted this exchange of information and police and judicial cooperation in general; stresses, in this regard, that mutual trust relies on a common understanding of the EU values enshrined in Article 2 of the TEU, including the rule of law, which independent judiciaries and the fight against corruption are essential components of;

33. Reiterates its call for further action to improve the training of law enforcement on strategies to fight against racism and discrimination, and to prevent, identify and ban racial and ethnic profiling and violence; calls on the Member States to invest in this field, and cooperate with CEPOL and the European Judicial Training Network; underlines that there is a continued need for training on trends in radicalisation, terrorism and money laundering;

34. Welcomes the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO); calls for its independence to be preserved, and for its effective functioning in national judicial procedures to be ensured; is concerned that the Commission has committed a significant omission by not taking into account the EPPO’s role in enhancing our Security Union: calls for the assessment of a potential extension of the EPPO’s mandate in line with Article 83 of the TFEU, once the EPPO is fully operational;

35. Calls on the Member States to ensure the full and correct implementation of the Victims’ Rights Directive and other EU rules on victims’ rights; welcomes the adoption of the Victim’s Rights Strategy and the creation of the post of Commission Coordinator for Victims’ Rights; reiterates its call for special attention to be paid to vulnerable victims, and for the possibility of compensation to be paid out of seized and confiscated assets and the proceeds of crimes; reiterates its call for sustainable funding for victim support services to be ensured;

36. Reiterates the need for effective protection and assistance to vulnerable victims of trafficking, including their reintegration into society, with particular attention for unaccompanied minors; highlights the need for law enforcement personnel to be trained in the psychological aspects of trafficking, and for a gender- and child-friendly approach that implements anti-discrimination legislation;

37. Stresses that gender equality is a crucial aspect for combating radicalisation, reducing domestic violence, and for preventing sexual abuse and child abuse; calls on the Commission to include measures to support gender equality as an important prevention component of its security strategy, and calls on the Council to activate the passerelle clause by adopting a unanimous decision to identify violence against women and girls (and other forms of gender-based violence) as one of the areas of crime defined in Article 83(1) of the TFEU; calls on the Commission and Member States to prioritise the fight against domestic violence by providing support services, establishing specialised law enforcement units and prosecuting these crimes; calls on the Commission and Member States to provide updated data on this; calls for the EU and the Member States to ratify the Istanbul Convention;

38. Regrets the systematic lack of full and timely implementation of EU security measures by the Member States; considers that security measures must not only be implemented to the letter of the law, but also to the spirit; notes that if security measures are systematically not being implemented fully and on time, they risk being void, may not result in more security, and therefore no longer fulfil the requirements of necessity and proportionality; calls on the Commission to start infringement procedures immediately after transposition deadlines or after a breach has been identified;

39. Stresses the importance of evidence of the effectiveness of current EU security measures; points out that the extent to which the restriction of fundamental rights can be considered necessary and proportionate depends on the effectiveness of these policies, proven by publicly available quantitative and qualitative evidence; regrets the fact that the Commission has so far only made available anecdotal evidence about security measures, but no quantitative evidence;

40. Calls on the Commission to regularly evaluate current security policies and agreements, and bring them into line with CJEU case law where necessary; takes the view that the passenger name record (PNR) agreements with the USA and Australia must be urgently amended to be compliant with CJEU case law, and considers the Commission’s refusal to act accordingly a grave omission;

41. Is concerned about the outsourcing of some activities from law enforcement agencies to the private sector, and calls for better oversight over any private-public cooperation in the field of security; regrets the lack of transparency on EU funding for private companies establishing security systems or parts thereof;

42. Is deeply concerned by the lack of resources allocated to some EU agencies acting in the field of justice and home affairs (JHA) to comply fully with their mandate; calls for proper funding and staffing of EU agencies and bodies in the field of JHA in order for the EU to deliver on the Security Union Strategy;

43. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.


Last updated: 14 December 2020
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