Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 229

Intelligence services: Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes calls for stronger oversight to improve effectiveness and improved cooperation at EU level

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 29 maggio 2015

The increase in the exchange of information and cooperation between intelligence services at EU and international level calls for improved cooperation between EU oversight bodies and a stronger democratic oversight of intelligence activities which is still only conducted at national level, said Civil Liberties Committee Chair and rapporteur on the European Parliament’s Inquiry on the Eeuropean parliamentlectronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens, Claude Moraes, at the closing of the two-day conference on the Democratic oversight of Intelligence services in the European Union.The first Conference on the Democratic Oversight of Intelligence Services in the European Union took place in the European Parliament, co-hosted with German, Italian and Belgian National Parliamentary supervisory bodies, on 28 and 29 May.The Conference highlighted the strategic importance of intelligence and security services for the security of the democratic constitutional state, and the need for parliamentary oversight of such services to ensure respect of fundamental rights and liberties and efficiency of the intelligence and security services.After the meeting between MEPs and national MPs, Civil Liberties Committee Chair and rapporteur on the European Parliament’s Inquiry on the Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), said:”Member states should improve the evaluation and oversight practises of their intelligence services – not to create more bureaucracy for intelligence services but because all the evidence shows that better oversight will create more effective intelligence services which do their jobs better and are more accountable in a difficult and ever changing security environment.One of the main conclusions of the European Parliament’s Inquiry into mass surveillance following the Edward Snowden revelations was that there has been a systematic failure of intelligence services oversight not only in the US but in our own Member States. We called for all Member States to evaluate and revise their oversight practices to ensure that intelligence services are subject to improved parliamentary and judicial oversight.This conference is unprecedented in that it is the first time that the European Parliament has co-hosted with three national Parliaments, Germany, Italy and Belgium, on the sensitive subject of intelligence oversight. The European Parliament, led by the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, is committed to developing a regular dialogue for national Member States oversight bodies to discuss best practices and minimum standards of intelligence oversight to ensure that our intelligence services are operating within the rule of law. We value our intelligence agencies for the unparalleled responsibility of protecting our citizens in the most difficult circumstances. We are aware that ongoing threats and challenges such as so called “foreign fighters”, radicalisation and related security threats are challenging most EU countries. Such challenges require more not less cooperation between Member States and EU agencies such as Europol.As a result of the success of this debate, there has been agreement from national Parliaments that this should not just be a one off event and we should continue to develop cooperation on a concrete basis and convene a follow-up conference at the latest two years’ time”.

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