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Parliamentary questions
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12 February 2020
Question for written answer  E-000844/2020/rev.1
to the Commission
Rule 138
Mara Bizzotto (ID), Anna Bonfrisco (ID), Susanna Ceccardi (ID)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Chinese spy alert in Brussels and the EU institutions

Investigations by journalists (Die Welt, La Stampa, Bloomberg), based on European External Action Service (EEAS) sources, have uncovered the existence of an extensive network of Chinese intelligence agents in Brussels. 2020 has begun with further news on the involvement of former EU officials who have been spying for China, which the Commission (‘EU-China/Strategic Outlook’ March 2019) has defined as an ‘adversary’ from the economic point of view, and politically, a ‘systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance’. A few weeks ago, a spokesperson for the EEAS allegedly confirmed that the Service had informed its staff of the danger of hostile activities by Chinese intelligence.

Essentially, Brussels has become ‘the capital of Chinese spies (about 250 of them) in Europe’.

These Chinese intelligence activities are not limited to individual institutional targets and are particularly aggressive in the city in which nearly all the European institutions are based.

Can the Commission therefore answer the following questions:

1. Does it have any information on Chinese human- and IT-based espionage activities targeting the Commission, and what measures has it drawn up to inform and protect staff?

2. Will it start a debate with the other institutions in order to draw up common measures to protect/inform EU staff?

3. Has it introduced any specific protection and counter-intelligence measures in respect of individuals from outside who are not members of the EU civil service but who have access to Commission buildings (lobbyists, journalists, etc)?

Original language of question: IT
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