In November 2010 the European Commission presented the EU Internal Security Strategy in Action: Five steps towards a more secure Europe (IP/10/1535 and MEMO/10/598).
The strategy sets out a shared agenda for Member States, the European Parliament and EU agencies to address key challenges for the security of the European Union: serious organised crime, terrorism, cybercrime, border security, and the management of natural and man-made disasters.
In 2011, the Commission adopted its first report on implementation of the ISS. The next and last report will be presented in mid-2014.
Political initiatives and measures under the ISS are accompanied by substantial financial efforts. Since 2007 the Commission has funded the FP7 Security Research programme up to 1.4 billion of euros. More than 250 projects have been funded in areas such as the protection of citizens against chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) materials, or man-made and natural events, critical infrastructure protection, crisis management capabilities, intelligent maritime and land border surveillance, etc.
Organised crime is still a major challenge for the internal security of the EU. Cybercrime, along with trafficking in human beings and the increase in violent extremism are also major security threats that the EU continues to face, together with money laundering and corruption. These threats are outlined in the Commission’s annual report on the implementation of the EU’s Internal Security Strategy, released today. It highlights areas under each of the objectives of the strategy (2011-2014) where Member States and EU agencies should pay particular attention.
“One of the major threats to our internal security is organised crime and its detrimental effects on the European economy and the security of the European citizens. To go after the money, to disrupt organised criminal networks and reclaim the proceeds of crime, continues to be a key aim of the EU’s strategy“, said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.
The second annual report highlights progress in the following areas:
- The fight against organised crime: For instance, the Commission proposed new rules for more effective and widespread confiscation of funds and other property acquired through crime (IP/12/235 and MEMO/12/179).
- Terrorism and radicalisation: As an example of terrorist prevention efforts, the EU has established common rules on the use and marketing of explosive precursors (MEMO/12/874). This new EU legislation ensures that Member States have the same degree of control over these chemicals, preventing terrorists and criminals from taking advantage of legal loopholes.
- Cybercrime: An important step in the fight against cybercrime was the creation of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol in early 2013(IP/13/13 and MEMO/13/6). Another strategic initiative undertaken in 2012 was the launch of the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online with 48 countries joining at first (IP/12/1308 and MEMO/12/937).
- Border management: In December 2011, the Commission presented a legislative proposal for a European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur – IP/11/1528 and MEMO/11/896). Early 2013, the Commission adopted two legislative proposals for an Entry/Exit System (EES) and a Registered Traveller Programme (RTP), also known as the ‘Smart Borders Package’ (IP/13/162 and MEMO/13/141).
- Crisis and disaster management: A proposal for the implementation arrangements for the solidarity clause (Article 222 TFEU) was put forward in December 2012. It will provide a framework for situations of extraordinary threat or damage that overwhelm the response capacities of the affected Member State(s).
In 2013, as a concrete follow up to the priorities identified in the ISS, the Commission will, amongst other measures:
- Publish the first EU Anti-Corruption Report, including recommendations for Member States;
- propose a Directive on criminal penalties for money laundering;
- implement the EU Cybersecurity Strategy for the European Union
- support, develop and expand the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online;
- ensure that Schengen Information System II (SISII) becomes fully operational;
- update the EU approach to counter violent extremism by developing a European ‘toolbox’ based on best practices in the Member States;
- develop a political initiative to combat illicit trafficking in firearms. An online public consultation has just been launched on what more the EU should be doing to tackle the risk of firearms.