The Munich Security Conference has hardly ever been more necessary than in these turbulent times. Key actors of secu ...
8. April 2018
We stand as one for security in Europe - Op-ed in L´OPINION
OP-ED OF MANFRED WEBER, CHAIRMAN OF THE EPP GROUP IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Original version published in French in L´OPINION on 8 April 2018
We stand as one for security in Europe
Arnaud Beltrame is a European hero. The French police officer has sacrificed his life in order to protect his fellow citizens from terrorists. He faced a new intensity of terrorist attacks which are not only a threat to people in Trèbes, but in all Europe. His heroic bravery has to be a wake-up call for all of us to stand as one for an enhanced security in Europe. From Trèbes to Nice, Berlin, Paris, London, Madrid and Brussels terrorists know no borders and have one enemy in common: our European way of life. Terrorists are infiltrating into Europe and their networks of hate and violence are here. They know: Freedom without security is unthinkable.
Starting with civil society, more support has to be given to organisations that are fighting for prevention of radicalisation and promoting intercultural dialogue.
Furthermore, a European FBI needs to be created. It would serve as an obligatory data-exchange body and a technological driver by enhancing biometric tools (such as facial recognition) in order to protect our citizens. In the light of the Salisbury chemical attack, such a European FBI would also have to develop a security network via regional and national police forces and intelligence agencies to protect critical infrastructure against chemical, biological or nuclear attacks. We must stand as one against terrorists and act together starting from prevention to prosecution.
In order to build up Europe as our security shield against common threats, counterterrorism is only the first pillar. The second one is cybersecurity. Within the next years, Europe will create a digital single market for nearly 500 million people. An immense melting pot for new innovations, job opportunities, and economic prosperity but also for potential criminals. That is why we need high cyber security standards from the very beginning and foremost, we have to make big investments in fighting cybercrime through latest state of the art technologies and well-trained officers.
In order to defend our security in the digital age we have to build up a real EU cyber-brigade.
The third pillar for a safer Europe is a strengthened control of our borders. The migration crisis was not only a temporary crisis, but also a long-lasting challenge for all of us. Neither France nor Germany are an island. Only Europe as whole can ensure an effective protection of our borders; take those eligible for asylum decently, and at the same time quickly return those who are not eligible for such protection. On these grounds, we have to upgrade the European Border and Coast guard to an effective self-operating border protection force and increase its standing corps by 10.000 officers. Furthermore, we have to reinforce our border check procedures and enhance the data exchange to stop criminals or economic migrants who were already rejected and returning to Europe. For more effective returns, we need a European return warrant that would help preventing illegal migration around Europe.
In the light of terrorism, cybercrime and a global migration challenge, security in Europe needs to play a role of a more effective protection shield. In order to achieve this, we do not only need words, we need actions! The EPP Group stands for common, effective and future oriented solutions. It is clear: There will be only a secure Europe or no Europe at all.
Original version published in French can be consulted here: https://www.lopinion.fr/edition/international/l-europe-etats-ne-peuvent-plus-assurer-securite-leurs-concitoyens-146464