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European Agenda on Security- New powers require new safeguards

alde groupSTRASBOURG, April 29, 2015 - The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament welcomes the Commission's EU Internal Security Strategy presented yesterday  but nevertheless ALDE MEPs believe that  whole agenda on security remains vague when it comes to achieving practical results.  Strengthening EU measures to tackle terrorism and other security threats should go hand in hand with a positive enforcement of human rights protection and any future measures must be based on a critical evaluation of existing instruments, as well as on their proportionality and efficiency.

Sophie In' t Veld (D66, The Netherlands), vice-president of the ALDE group, said: " The proposals to expand the role of Europol are certainly interesting. However, the Commission must urgently clarify how democratic oversight will be ensured. Now there is already  no clarity about the powers of the Parliament, the European Court of Justice and the European Ombudsman to get access to information which is essential for oversight and protecting the rule of law.

We are also worried about the increasingly blurred lines between policing and intelligence and security tasks, and the inflationary use of the term "national security", without a proper legal definition. It also remains unclear what legal safeguards exist for citizens, in a system that is a strange hybrid of national and European powers. That is unacceptable in a democracy.

ALDE firmly supports the achievement of a fully-fledged European Area of Freedom Security and Justice. But all new powers and structures must be firmly embedded in a clear and solid legal framework. No new powers without new safeguards".

Maite Pagazaurtundua (UPyD, Spain), shadow rapporteur for The prevention of radicalisation and recruitment of European citizens by terrorist organisations, added: " We have only seen clear efforts from the Commission when it comes to the use of force. But we need more than the Commission's good will. Moreover, key principles such as the respect for EU values and for fundamental rights and democratic oversight should also apply to national laws on security, such as the Spanish law on Security or the French intelligence law. it is the duty of the Commission to safeguard that EU values are respected in all Member States.

Police action is vital to fight terrorism, but we cannot forget that prevention and the de-radicalization of fanatics play an extremely important role. The recruitment of European citizens by radical organisations, especially youngsters, proves that a broader and more ambitious strategy is needed".

ALDE Group/Strasbourg

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