Focus: EU security architecture

Next round in the construction of an EU state
by Heiner Busch and Peer Stolle
The report of the informal Future Group from June 2008 is the blueprint for the next five year programme of the EU’s home affairs policy. The group continued to build on the existing agenda towards the construction of an EU state: it wants to continue cementing the external borders, expand FRONTEX and Europol and not only do away with barriers to the information exchange between police forces, but also to the operational cooperation across internal borders. The abolition of the separation of police and military is not viewed as a problem by Europe’s executive powers. And data protection is used by them as a legitimising veneer for the extension of state surveillance.

SitCen: Solana’s secret service foyer
by Heiner Busch
The Joint Situation Centre (SitCen) is located right inside the offices of the General Secretary of the EU Council and forms part of the EU’s military and foreign political structures. Analysts from various Member States’ internal and external intelligence services take part in SitCen’s two secret service units – the Civil Intelligence Cell (since 2002) and the Counter Terrorism Cell (since 2005).

Mobile data – towards the EU Information Alliance
by Eric Töpfer
As the Hague Programme comes to an end in 2009, the development of cross-border information exchange enters a new round. With the “principle of availability” introduced in 2004, the EU had initiated a paradigmatic shift that facilitated networking between national databases. The newest aim is the “convergence” of platforms in order to enable cooperation in real time. Data protection is the new paradigm’s collateral damage.

Europol: the difficulties of police centralism
by Heiner Busch
Europol shall become the “genuine information platform for Member States”, the Future Group envisages in its report from June 2008. The continual return of such formulas shows the enduring scepticism of national police authorities towards this centralised construct. The group has not posed the fundamental question, whether a centralised apparatus that collects highly sensitive data was not a mistake from the very moment of its conception.

Police, soldiers and gendarmes
by Mark Holzberger
When it comes to its police missions abroad, the EU is particularly interested in police forces with a military status, that are suited for “robust” operations in unsafe situations and that can be subjected to military command. The Future Group therefore wants to test the transposition of the European Gendarmerie Force into EU law. The separation of police and military will be lost in this transition.

The German military on pirate hunt
by Mark Holzberger
The EU naval force operation ATALANTA off the Somali coast makes use of German soldiers rather than federal police officers. The German involvement takes place on the non-explicit but implied premise that pirates intercepted by the Federal Army will not be brought to Germany for criminal prosecution. The interior ministry fears that they could not be deported again because of the situation in Somalia.

Transatlantic cooperation against civil liberties
by Martin Beck
Since the attacks of 11 September 2001, cooperation between the EU and the US has become significantly closer. Up to today, six agreements have been made, amongst others, legalising the exchange of data which the USA had already accessed without permission before. Particularly dangerous appears to be the transatlantic cooperation of intelligence services in the framework of the “alliance base”.

Non-thematic articles:

The commercial aspect of Germany’s security architecture
by Volker Eick
Until now, all attempts to legalise the role of private security services have faltered. Nevertheless, in practice, private security services have grown enormously and become part and parcel of Germany’s “security architecture”, amongst others by way of partnerships with the police during traffic controls, in certain city districts, or at mass events.

129a procedure against “AK Origami”
by Daniel Wölky
In 2006, the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office combined preliminary investigations into four arson attempts against the military and several armament factories in an anti-terrorist procedure under Article 129a of the German Criminal Code (terrorist organisation). Almost the whole repertoire of secret police methods was applied against the targeted left-wing activists. The proceedings were stopped in July 2008 for lack of evidence. They were nevertheless useful for, amongst others, the criminalisation of the protests against the G8 summit in Heiligendamm.

Turkey on its way to Schengen
by Emre Ertem
The EU will only grant freedom of movement to Turkish workers when Turkey fulfils the criteria of the Schengen acquis. To facilitate EU accession, Turkey is therefore trying to close down its south-eastern borders against unwanted immigration. Amongst others, it is planning “reception centres” for around 5.000 asylum seekers and is creating a new paramilitary border police force.