European Commission

Weekly meeting | 02/02/2016

Fight against terrorist financing and adoption of Schengen Evaluation Report on Greece

The Commission presented an Action Plan to strengthen the fight against terrorist financing. It also adopted a Schengen Evaluation Report on Greece and discussed the Portuguese Draft Budget for 2016. It supported the conclusion of the new framework for transatlantic data flows: the EU-US Privacy Shield.

The European Commission presented today an Action Plan to strengthen the fight against the financing of terrorism. This comprehensive Action Plan delivers a strong and swift response to the current challenges, building on existing EU rules and complementing them where necessary. Through concrete measures, it adapts or proposes additional rules to deal with new threats.

More precisely, the Action Plan focuses on tracing terrorists through financial movements and preventing them from moving funds or other assets. It also focuses on disrupting the sources of revenue used by terrorist organisations, by targeting their capacity to raise funds. In addition, the Commission will step up international cooperation. All the actions presented today should be carried out by the end of 2017 and additional measures will follow in the months to come. 

The Commission's proposals balance the need to increase security with the need to protect fundamental rights, including data protection, and economic freedoms.        

Moreover, following a positive opinion by the Schengen evaluation committee, the College of Commissioners has today adopted the Schengen Evaluation Report on Greece and a proposal for a Council Recommendation on addressing the serious deficiencies identified in the evaluation report on the application of Schengen rules in the field of management of the external borders by Greece.

The recommendations seek to ensure that Greece applies all Schengen rules related to management of external border correctly and effectively. In order to ensure compliance with these recommendations, the Commission may, in addition, recommend that Greece takes certain specific measures under Article 19a of the Schengen Borders Code, given the serious deficiencies noted in the Schengen Evaluation Report.

On the same day, the European Commission and the United States have agreed on a new framework for transatlantic data flows: the EU-US Privacy Shield. The College of Commissioners approved the political agreement reached and has mandated Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Jourová to prepare the necessary steps to put in place the new arrangement. This new framework will protect the fundamental rights of Europeans where their data is transferred to the United States and ensure legal certainty for businesses. 

The College also discussed the Portuguese Draft Budget for 2016.

Finally, as part of its strategy to create a Digital Single Market, the European Commission adopted a proposal to better coordinate the use of the 700 MHz band at the EU level for mobile services, while securing frequencies for the audiovisual sector. This would improve internet access for all Europeans, including in remote areas, and help develop cross-border applications.

President Juncker also briefed the College on the state of play of the negotiations on a fair deal for Britain that the President of the European Council is piloting with the support of the European Commission.

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