Plans to double the funding of the Internal Security Fund (ISF) designed to support EU countries in the area of security were backed by Civil Liberties MEPs on Tuesday.
The reinforced Internal Security Fund (ISF) will focus on tackling terrorism, violent extremism, radicalisation, organised crime and cybercrime and assisting and protecting victims of crime. MEPs emphasized that while national security remains solely a competence of the member states, protecting it requires cooperation and coordination at EU level.
Civil Liberties Committee MEPs agreed on a €2.5 billion budget in current prices (€2.2 in 2018 prices) for the Internal Security Fund for 2021-2027. This more than doubles the fund’s 2014-2020 budget. Of the agreed budget, 60 % will be allocated to member states. The remaining 40 % of funds will be reserved for unforeseen security challenges, allowing for rapid response to emergencies and the channelling of funds to the member states that need them most.
The new Internal Security Fund will:
- improve and facilitate the exchange of information between law enforcement and judicial authorities of the member states, other relevant EU bodies like Europol and Eurojust as well as with non-EU countries and international organisations;
- improve and intensify cross-border coordination and cooperation, including joint operations in relation to terrorism and serious and organised crime with a cross-border dimension;
- strengthen the capabilities of EU countries to combat and prevent crime and to tackle radicalisation; and
- help to develop a common intelligence culture by supporting mutual trust, understanding and learning, the dissemination of know-how and best practices among the intelligence services of the member states and with Europol.
The draft report was adopted by 44 votes to 10, no abstentions. The Full House will vote on the draft report in the first March Strasbourg session, ahead of the negotiations with the Council.