Commission Issues New “EU Internal Security Strategy”

Earlier today the Commission released a Communication entitled “The EU Internal Security Strategy in Action.” The Communication to the EP and Council contains 41 proposals in five general areas: organised crime, terrorism, cybercrime and cyber security, border management, and crises and disasters.  It contains a strategy which is described as an effort to identify, explain, and coordinate what the EU seeks to achieve in the area of internal security.  The accompanying Commission Press Release quotes Commissioner Malmström as stating that “EU internal security has traditionally been following a silo mentality, focusing on one area at a time. Now we take a common approach on how to respond to the security threats and challenges ahead. Terrorism, organised, cross-border and cyber crime, and crises and disasters are areas where we need to combine our efforts and work together in order to increase the security of our citizens, businesses, and societies across the EU. This strategy outlines the threats ahead and the necessary actions we must take in order to be able to fight them….”

Here are several excerpts (with some footnotes omitted) from Objective Number 4 entitled “Strengthen security through border management”:

“[***] In relation to movement of persons, the EU can treat migration management and the fight against crime as twin objectives of the integrated border management strategy. It is based on three strategic strands.

  • An enhanced use of new technology for border checks (the second generation of the Schengen Information System (SIS II), the Visa Information System (VIS), the entry/exit system and the registered traveller programme);
  • an enhanced use of new technology for border surveillance (the European Border Surveillance System, EUROSUR) with the support of GMES security services, and the gradual creation of a common information sharing environment for the EU maritime domain [25 Commission communication, ‘Towards the integration of maritime surveillance: A Common information environment for the EU maritime domain’, COM (2009) 538 ]; and
  • an enhanced coordination of Member States through Frontex.


Action 1: Exploit the full potential of EUROSUR

The Commission will present a legislative proposal to set up EUROSUR in 2011 to contribute to internal security and the fight against crime. EUROSUR will establish a mechanism for Member States’ authorities to share operational information related to border surveillance and for cooperation with each other and with Frontex at tactical, operational and strategic level. [27 Commission proposals for the development of the EUROSUR system and for the development of a common information sharing environment (CISE) for the EU maritime domain are set out in COM (2008) 68 and COM(2009) 538 respectively. A six step road map for establishing the CISE was recently adopted – COM(2010) 584.]  EUROSUR will make use of new technologies developed through EU funded research projects and activities, such as satellite imagery to detect and track targets at the maritime border, e.g. tracing fast vessels transporting drugs to the EU. In recent years, two major initiatives on operational cooperation at the maritime borders have been launched – one on human trafficking and human smuggling under the umbrella of Frontex and the second on drugs smuggling in the framework of MAOC-N [28 MAOC-N – Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre – Narcotics] and CeCLADM. [29 CeCLAD-M – Centre de Coordination pour la lutte antidrogue en Méditerranée.]

As part of the development of integrated and operational action at the EU’s maritime border, the EU will launch in 2011 a pilot project at its southern or south-western border, involving those two centres, the Commission, Frontex and Europol. This pilot project will explore synergies on risk analysis and surveillance data in common areas of interest concerning different types of threats, such as drugs and people smuggling. [30 This project will complement the other integrated maritime surveillance projects such as BlueMassMed and Marsuno, which aim to optimise the efficiency of maritime surveillance in the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic and the northern European sea basins.]

Action 2: Enhancing the contribution of Frontex at the external borders

[***] From 2011 onwards, the Commission, with joint input from Frontex and Europol, will present a report by the end of each year on specific cross-border crimes such as human trafficking, human smuggling and smuggling of illicit goods. This annual report will serve as a basis for assessing the need for Frontex and its joint operations and joint operations between police, customs and other specialised law enforcement authorities to be carried out from 2012 onwards. [***]”

Click here for the complete Commission Document.

Click here for Commission’s Press Release.

Click here for the Feb 2010 Council Draft Internal Security Strategy.

Click here (SW) for comments on Commissioner Malmström’s blog.

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