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Procedure : 2014/2918(RSP)
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Document selected : B8-0350/2014

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PV 17/12/2014 - 10.21
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Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 17 December 2014 - Strasbourg
Renewing the EU Internal Security Strategy

European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on renewing the EU Internal Security Strategy (2014/2918(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 2, 3, 6, 7 and 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and to Articles 4, 16, 20, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 75, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87 and 88 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

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

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 June 2014 on the final implementation report of the EU Internal Security Strategy 2010-2014 (COM(2014)0365),

–  having regard to Europol's EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) for 2014,

–  having regard to Europol's Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (iOCTA) for 2014,

–  having regard to Europol's EU Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) for 2013,

–  having regard to Opinion 01/2014 of the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party on the application of necessity and proportionality concepts and data protection within the law enforcement sector,

–  having regard to the resolution adopted by the UN Security Council on 24 September 2014 on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts (Resolution 2178 (2014)),

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 April 2014 on the mid-term review of the Stockholm Programme(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2014 on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and impact on EU citizens' fundamental rights(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 27 February 2014 on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (2012)(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2013 on the second report on the implementation of the EU Internal Security Strategy(4),

–  having regard to the EU Internal Security Strategy, as adopted by the Council on 25 February 2010,

–  having regard to the questions to the Council and to the Commission on renewing the EU Internal Security Strategy (O-000089/2014 – B8‑0044/2014 and O‑000090/2014 – B8‑0045/2014),

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Treaty of Lisbon laid the foundations for the development of an EU security policy that is closely shared by the EU and its Member States, is based on the rule of law, respect for fundamental rights, and solidarity, and is subject to democratic oversight at European and national level, while upholding the principle of subsidiarity; whereas the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty made Parliament a fully fledged actor in the field of security policy so as to ensure democratic control, thus entitling it to participate actively in determining priorities in this field and to engage with all relevant actors at EU and national level in order to achieve a comprehensive, targeted and effective EU security policy;

B.  whereas the security situation in Europe has changed dramatically in recent years owing to new conflicts and upheavals in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood, the rapid development of new technologies, and growing radicalisation that is leading to violence and terrorism; whereas many of today’s security challenges are cross-border and cross‑sectoral in nature, going beyond the capacity of any individual Member State to respond effectively to them, and whereas this calls for a common European approach;

C.  whereas the EU and its Member States have a common responsibility to ensure the safety and freedom of European citizens; whereas freedom, security and justice are objectives that must be pursued in parallel, and whereas, in order to achieve freedom and justice, security measures should therefore always be evidence-based, in accordance with the principles of necessity, proportionality and respect for fundamental rights and on the basis of proper democratic oversight and accountability;

D.  whereas special attention should be paid to supporting and protecting all victims of crime across the EU;

E.  whereas the Internal Security Strategy (ISS) for the 2010-2014 period is coming to an end and a new ISS for the 2015-2019 period is being prepared;

1.  Welcomes the preparation of a new ISS for the coming four years; points out that new security threats have emerged since the establishment of the current ISS, while others call for a different policy response; reiterates, furthermore, that the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty incorporated the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights into EU law; believes, therefore, that the current ISS should be thoroughly assessed, updated and revamped;

2.  Believes that essential prerequisites for an effective ISS include a thorough analysis of the security threats to be addressed, to be performed by Europol in close cooperation with other relevant EU bodies and the Member States;

3.  Regrets the fact that the Commission's communication does not contain an evaluation of the current instruments and a corresponding assessment of remaining gaps; calls as a matter of urgency on the Commission to perform such a stock‑taking exercise and to focus its efforts on the proper implementation and better use of existing legislation and instruments before proposing the creation of new ones; specifically, calls on the Council, in cooperation with the Commission, to comprehensively evaluate the implementation of the measures adopted in the area of internal security before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, making use of the procedure provided for in Article 70 TFEU;

4.  Calls for the new ISS to be forward-looking and strategic, and easily adaptable to evolving situations, by focusing not only on existing security threats but also on emerging ones and taking an integrated, comprehensive and holistic approach to priority areas such as cybersecurity, trafficking in human beings and counter-terrorism, and to interlinked issues such as organised crime, money laundering and corruption;

5.  Notes with concern the rapidly rising number of EU nationals who travel to conflict areas to join terrorist organisations and subsequently return to EU territory, presenting new types of risks to EU internal security; intends to address this worrying trend with a multi‑dimensional approach, including by (i) comprehensively addressing underlying factors such as radicalisation, intolerance and discrimination by promoting political and religious tolerance, developing social cohesion and inclusiveness and facilitating reintegration, (ii) analysing and counterbalancing incitement to perform terrorist acts motivated by extremism and departures to join terrorist organisations, (iii) preventing and stemming recruitment and engagement in conflict, including the actual travel of foreign fighters to conflict areas, within the appropriate legal frameworks, (iv) disrupting financial support to terrorist organisations and individuals aiming to join them, and (v) providing for legal prosecution where appropriate;

6.  Points out that security threats have become more varied, international, multiple and asymmetrical, requiring closer cross-border and inter-agency cooperation; calls for more effective operational cooperation among Member States through greater use of valuable existing instruments, such as joint investigation teams, and more expeditious and efficient sharing of relevant data and information, subject to the appropriate data protection and privacy safeguards; in this connection, underlines the utmost importance of the swift adoption of the proposed data protection directive in order to provide a comprehensive legal framework for the sharing of data in the law enforcement field; points out that, in order to further promote operational cooperation among Member States, additional trust-building measures are necessary; supports, therefore, the strengthening of European training and exchange programmes for national practitioners in order to further foster a European law enforcement culture;

7.  Reminds the European Council of its obligation under Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to conduct a regular EU threat assessment, and invites the Commission to come forward with concrete proposals on how best to implement this obligation, drawing together the current fragmented and narrowly focused threat and risk assessments at EU and national level;

8.  Calls for the right balance to be sought between prevention policies and repressive measures in order to preserve freedom, security and justice; stresses that security measures should always be pursued in accordance with the principles of the rule of law and the protection of all fundamental rights; calls on the Commission, therefore, when devising and implementing the new ISS, to take due account of the recent Court of Justice ruling on the data retention directive, which requires all instruments to comply with the principles of proportionality, necessity and legality, and to include the appropriate safeguards of accountability and judicial redress;

9.  Considers it regrettable that the ISS still lacks a proper ‘justice dimension’; recalls that, in line with the Stockholm programme, mutual trust must be strengthened by progressively developing a European judicial culture based on the diversity of legal systems and traditions, through European cooperation and legislation in this area and, specifically, the development of judicial cooperation in criminal matters;

10.  Points out that proper implementation of the new ISS is of critical importance, that a clear division of tasks between the EU level and the national level is necessary, and that both the European Parliament and the national parliaments need to be part of this monitoring process; intends, therefore, to perform regular monitoring exercises, in close cooperation with national parliaments, on the proper implementation of the ISS;

11.  Underlines the importance of coherence between the internal and external aspects of security; believes that synergies between the common foreign and security policy and justice and home affairs (JHA) tools, including information exchange and police and judicial cooperation with third countries, especially through the use of mutual legal assistance agreements, should be maximised, in full compliance with the principles laid down in Articles 2, 3, 6 and 21 TEU; stresses in this context that all relevant actors, including the EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator and the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, should work closely together, integrating the internal and external aspects;

12.  Stresses the need to provide for appropriate financial resources for the proper implementation of the measures set out in the ISS, and in particular to ensure that EU agencies such as Europol and Eurojust are sufficiently equipped to fulfil the tasks assigned to them; acknowledges, in this connection, the important role that research and innovation can play in developing tools to help tackle terrorism and serious and organised crime;

13.  Points out that, in practice, the ISS also has consequences in terms of prioritising the operations of European agencies and European funding in the JHA field, in which Parliament is a co-legislator; urges the Council, therefore, to take due account of Parliament’s input into the new ISS before adopting the new strategy;

14.  Intends to further elaborate its position on priorities and actions in the field of internal security, including on the basis of the expected Commission communication on the new ISS, and to enter into a fruitful dialogue with the Council and the Commission on this issue in the spirit of the Treaty of Lisbon;

15.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and the Council, and to the parliaments of the Member States.

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0276.
(2) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0230.
(3) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0173.
(4) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0384.

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