European Commission
New Security Union Strategy
The European Commission has launched a new Security Union Strategy for 2020-2025, intended to bring its current workstreams into a single programme (link). The Commission will address four strategic priorities:

–          Improving security infrastructure online and offline

–          Tackling evolving threats, particularly the exploitation of technological developments

–          Protecting Europeans from terrorism and organised crime

–          Promoting cooperation and information sharing, including strengthening Europol’s mandate

The Commission emphasises the need for “connection from local to regional to national and EU police solutions.” Strengthening cooperation and information exchange is a priority for the Commission, and key actions set out include exploring a Police Cooperation Code to support law enforcement cooperation and EU-level coordination for police forces in case of force majeure events such as pandemics.

Alongside the Strategy, the Commission has published three action plans, focusing on the fight against child abuse, firearms trafficking and drugs (link).

Commission gathers views on actions to promote integration of migrants
The European Commission has launched a public consultation to gather views on what more can be done at EU level to promote the integration and social inclusion of migrants (link). The consultation is open until 21 October and will feed into a new Action Plan on integration and inclusion.

The Commission will set up an expert group of people with a migrant background who will be invited to shape new rules on migration. Applications for the expert group are open until 21 September (link).

EU Member States reach agreement on budget, increases funding for Europol
EU leaders have agreed a €1.82 trillion budget and recovery package that will be funded by the Commission borrowing from capital markets. The recovery package includes €390 billion of grants to Member States. The budget carves out over €13 million for security and defence, allocating €1.7 billion for the Internal Security Fund and increasing the amount of the budget dedicated to Europol by at least 10% (link). The budget will still need to be approved by the European Parliament.
National updates
Austria: Austria will host a new European coordination platform to tackle irregular migration (link)

Germany: Court rules current police access to personal data is unconstitutional (link)


Other news
EU-UK FTA talks make progress
The sixth round of negotiations between the EU and UK concluded on 23 July. Both sides indicated that progress has been made on several issues including in social security coordination, EU programs, and police and judicial cooperation. Outstanding areas still to be resolved include data protection.

European Network Against Racism open letter
The European Network Against Racism and over 70 other organisations have issued a joint letter to the European Commission ahead of the planned EU Action Plan against racism (link). The organisations state that “combating police brutality and criminalisation of radicalised groups” should be at the centre of the Action Plan.

Council of Europe reports on impact of Budapest Convention
The Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Convention Committee has issued a report on the impact of the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime (link), including on domestic legislation and international cooperation.

Europol signs working agreement with Mexico
The Mexican Ministry of Security and Citizen Protection has signed a formal Working Arrangement with Europol to improve collaboration on security matters and improve information exchange with other countries associated with Europol (link).

EESC: Commission must consider impact of AI on fundamental rights
The European Economic and Social Committee, an advisory body to the EU, has published a response to the Commission’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence, calling for an in-depth examination of the impact of AI on fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right not to be discriminated against (link). The Commission’s Vice President for Digital has already warned against the use of predictive policing in AI, ahead of legislative proposals expected in 2021 (link).

Most Europeans are worried about data misuse
More than one in two EU citizens are concerned about the misuse of their online data, a new EU study reveals (link).

Look ahead
–          27 July: European Economic and Social Committee study group on Victims Rights meeting

–          28 July: Commission President meets European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup


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