College focuses on Security Union, discusses EU fiscal framework, Article 50 negotiations and Brexit preparedness
The European Commission reported on the progress made towards an effective and genuine Security Union, calling on the European Parliament and the Council to finalise their work on priority security initiatives as a matter of urgency.
To maintain the positive momentum set by the EU Leaders at the informal meeting in Salzburg today's report outlines the security initiatives that will be decisive for the completion of the Security Union before the upcoming European Parliament elections in May 2019. In this way, the report is a contribution to the discussions on internal security during the European Council on 18-19 October.
While a number of legislative proposals made by the Commission have now been approved, there are still many important files that need to be finalised as a matter of urgency before the European Parliament elections in May 2019. The Commission therefore calls for acceleration of this work and a swift adoption of the outstanding files, in particular, those identified in the Joint Declaration and the new measures proposed by President Juncker in his 2018 State of the Union Address:
- Protecting Europeans online: a wide-ranging set of measures to raise EU cyber resilience and increase cyber security capabilities was presented in September 2017 and followed up last month by proposals specifically aimed at protecting the security of our elections. Given the recent hostile cyber operations it is imperative that all legislative proposals are finalised as a matter of priority. In addition, to make sure that internet platforms are not misused to disseminate terrorist content online, the proposed new rules, in particular the obligation to remove terrorist content within one hour, should be agreed by the European Parliament and the Council before the May 2019 elections.
- Interoperability of EU information systems: allowing EU information systems for security, migration and border management to work together in a smarter and more efficient way is a core element of the Commission's efforts to close information security gaps. Presented in December 2017, the proposal on interoperability of EU information systems should be agreed by the European Parliament and the Council before the European Parliament elections of 2019. Similarly, the upgrades of different EU information systems, such as the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), Eurodac and the Visa Information System (VIS) should be swiftly finalised.
- Fighting cross-border crime: to help police and judicial authorities to track down leads online and across borders, the Commission proposals on electronic evidence should be agreed before the May 2019 elections. The Commission also invites the European Council together with the European Parliament to extend the competence of the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) to include the investigation of cross-border terrorist offences.
- Strengthening EU borders: The EU's internal security depends on how we manage our external borders, and this is why the proposals to reinforce the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, the EU rules on return and the European Union Agency for Asylum, taken together, will provide for the necessary tools to better ensure the effective management of the external borders.
Second annual report of the independent European Fiscal Board
Mr Niels Thygesen, Chair of the independent European Fiscal Board, presented to the College the second annual report of the European Fiscal Board, which is a comprehensive and independent assessment of how the Stability and Growth Pact has been implemented in the last full cycle, how the fiscal stance has been defined and how the EU fiscal framework should evolve in future. The report will feed into the discussions in the context of the European Semester and of the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union.
Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom and Brexit preparedness
The Commission Chief Negotiator for Article 50 negotiations, Michel Barnier briefed the College on the latest state of play of these negotiations with the United Kingdom. He recalled that decisive progress must be made in time for the October European Council next week. Negotiations at technical level will continue this week. The Secretary-General of the Commission also provided a brief update on the state of play of the Commission's preparedness work and recalled the importance for all stakeholders to prepare for all outcomes, and at all levels.
Security Union – Press material
Factsheet: A Europe that protects
Factsheet: Building strong cybersecurity in Europe
Communication: 16th Progress Report toward and effective and genuine Security Union
Annex: List of legislative initiatives
10 October 2018