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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU IT Agency CEO Garkov to EF: Data Protect+Fight Terror =Schengen/VISA/Asylum/Interoperability Boom

EU IT Agency CEO Garkov to EF: Data Protect+Fight Terror =Schengen/VISA/Asylum/Interoperability Boom

Written by ACM
Thursday, 08 February 2018
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- It's at the Topical and "Hot" Crossroads between Personal/Private Data Protection and Crime/Terrorism Prevention needs, Both Growing Nowadays, concerning EU's Large-scale Information systems' Agency "EU-LISA", which manages Schengen's EU Citizens' Free Movement, Visas and Asylum seeking's IT systems, recently (2017) entrusted also with the InterOperability of EU's Networks, that its CEO, Krum Garkov, speaking to "Eurofora", after a Hearing by EU Parliament's Committee on Terrorism, chaired by French MEP Nathalie Griesbeck, highlighted some main key points in reply to our relevant questions, (including on EU-LISAgency's Next Phase of Expansion in Strasbourg) :

 eu_parliaments_counterterrorism_commission_eurofora_400

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In fact, Grakov (a UK/USA Educated IT Management Expert from Bulgaria, the incoming rotating EU Presidency for January - June 2018), has Both to Protect Data and to Facilitate Information Networks on EU Citizens' Free Movement and Security area, VISAs and Asylum Seekers' administration, as well as Inter-Operability of EU Networks  by "EU-LISA", created on 2012, whose Operational Activities are Headquartered in Strasbourg, (France), its Secretariat being hosted in Tallin (Estonia).

 

 

eus_lisagency_logo_eu_site__eurofora_400

 


Data Protection and EU Information Sharing currently Growing both in parallel, EU-LISAgency's activities and responsibilities, naturally, are recently also Growing fast, needing a Wider Space and more Means, as MEPs observed Today.


- But, will EU's Large Information Systems' Agency (EU-LISA) really meet the Challenge of both Protecting Personal/Private Data, as well as Helping Crime/Terrorism Prevention by adequate Information-Sharing, and how ?, "Eurofora" mainly asked EU's IT CEO Garkov.  

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DATA PROTECTION
---------------------------------------------

 - Questioned in particular, on the Entry into Force of EU's New Directive on Data Protection and how to cope with necessary Changes, Garkov calmly estimated that, -"Well, there woN't be such a Dramatic Impact".


 - "Of course, we (EU-LISAgency) have to Align our Internal arrangementts, related to the (Information) Systems, according to the New (EU Directive's) Requirements", he acknowledged, as a matter of Principle.


- "But", in Fact, "the New Requirements are not so Dramatically Different from what we Already have in place", ensured the Experienced EU-LISA's Chief, who is in charge since its inception and beginning, from 2012-2013, (Comp. relevant Garkov Statements to "Eurofora", already on this Historic Event's occasion, then, at : ...).


- F.ex., concerning "Scrutiny" on EU's IT Agency, we recently had "a Mission" about that, and, "So Far, there is Not something Critical that was found ... that might make Anyone Doubtful about the arrangements in the Agency", he observed, in this regard.


=> "So, there Will be New Requirements, but I'm quite Sure that we shall Successfully Cope with them", EU-LISA's Head promised, optimistically and/or with voluntarism.  

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+ FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM
-----------------------------------------------------------------

+ On Topical and "Hot" Crime/Terrorism Prevention issues, "Eurofora" asked Garkov how could EU Avoid, in Future, the Gross Blunder (and/or Lacuna) which had allowed for a Persistent Offender, an Afghan irregular Migrant 32 Years old (as his own Father revealed Later-on), who had Already been Convicted and Jailed in Greece (where he had arrived through Turkey, amidst that Unprecedented "Tsunami" of +1,5 Millions Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants of 2015-2016) for Brutally Aggressing and throwing over an 8 Meter High Building a Young Girl who survived but was Seriously Wounded after Resisting to his Sexual Assault, to Come, afterwards, in Germany, where he Fooled the Authorities by Claiming to be a Young "Teenager" and a "Refugee",  so that they Gave him a Protected Status, a Foster Family as "UnAccompagnied Child" (sic !), regular Money and Training, until he Brutally Raped and Murdered anOther Young Girl, at Nearby Freiburg, on 2017, who was even Helping Refugees as Volunteer, and whose Father was working at EU Commission in Brussels : German Authorities reportedly did Not Know Anything about that recent Past of that Coward Monster, because of an ill-elucidated yet, Scandalous Flaw in the Information System of Police Cooperation on Criminal matters concering irregular Migrants from 3rd (Non-EU) Countries : The Famous Maria Ladenburger affair, which Recently arrived at the Courts.


-  "Here comes the role of ECRIS-TCN" (the "European Criminal Records Information System" on "Third-Country Nationals"), which is a relatively New System on Criminal Records' exchanges for 3rd Countries (Non-EU) Nationals, recently proposed by the EU Commission, and is Now at the Table" (of EU Council + Parliament), Garko punctually replied to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question in EU Parliament - (by a Coincidence, just before Meeting, Later Today, at EU-LISAgency's Headquarters in Strasbourg, with EU's Rapporteur for the Budgetary aspects of ECRIS-TCN, MEP Bernd Kolmel).


- "We (EU-LISAgendy) Shall have to Develop that. We shall do", he confirmed, after a relevant EU Commissions' official announcement, since June 2017.


+ "Mainly, it will provide (EU) Member States with the Information if a particular Individual, National of a 3rd Country, has Previous Convictions, and in what (EU) Member State", Garkov explained.


=> "So, the relevant Authorities, f.ex. in Germany, will be Able to Approach the Authorities, f.ex. in Greece, and Ask for Details :" I.e. "What was the Conviction ?", etc., etc. So that will be Known. This is Coming" asap, he announced.


 - In order to Facilitate things in real Practice, "it will be as Automatic as possible", and, at any case, it will be treated as a "Part of the (EU's) Inter-Operability package" of Measures, which EU Commission proposed recently to entrust to EU-LISAgency, its CEO concluded in reply.


--------------------


- In the Past, indeed, "the System had some Gaps", he acknowledged earlier.


- Particularly "on Identity Fraud", which was "the Most Important" Problem, where a series of "New Technologies Will be <<Game-Changers>>, in the Fight against Crime and Terrorism !", he Optimistically announced, speaking also at EU Parliament's Commission on Terrorism, previously this Morning.

 

eu_lisagency_ceo_garkov_speaking_at_eu_parliaments_counterterrorism_committee_eurofora_400


- "F.ex.", that Islamist Terrorist who Killed many innocent Civilian People "in Germany, at Berlin's Christmas Market", (and refuged at a Turkish Mosque that he used to Visit, nearby), had ... "Forteen (14 !) Different Identities", all "Fake !", he denounced.


+ This was Added to MEP's Questions also on the case of the suspected "Ring-Leader" of the Deadly "2015 Mass-Attacks in Paris", who had, reportedly, "Travelled several Times, from/to Syria", (arriving through Turkey, into EU Member Greece : I.e. crossing again and again EU's External Borders), as it was also pointed out.


- But, Nowadays, "Modern Technology can Contribute to the Fight against Terrorism", (that "95% of EU Citizens cinsider as a Considerable Challenge"), which is mainy "Information-Driven !", Garko stressed, before Describing some More concrete "New Tools", in this regard, (See also Infra).


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 => So that, putting it in a nutshell, he underlined the Fact that, "Today, EU faces the Challenge" of the Need "to be Both Open and Safe !"



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EU-LISAgency's GROWTH
---------------------------------------------------------

+ Questioned by "Eurofora" about the forseable Evolution of EU-LISA's Operational Headquarters, here, its CEO confirmed and Highlighted the Importance of the ForthComing Growth of the Agency, but appeared Confident that it will Find, on Time, the required Means :

=>  - In fact, at "the Operational Site here", in Strasbourg, "the Capacity is Not Enough for Everything that is Coming", Garkov admitted, just after telling us also about the New "Inter-Operability package" due to be entrusted to EU-LISAgency, as we've seen above, (Comp. also Infra)


 - So that, "Now, we are Finalizing a ReConstruction Site", he pointed out, as far as it concerns mainly current affairs.


- "But, Immediately, we shall have to Move to a Next Phase of Expansion, in order to Cope with the New Tasks of the Agency".


- This will also "be Here, in Strasbourg", in France, where EU-LISAgency's CEO looks confident that he shall find what is needed, including also the Fact that "we have a Good Cooperation with the Municipality", with "Support from the Mayor of Strasbourg", and "we have all the prerequisivities to go in the (new) site" as required, he told "Eurofora".


------------


- Earlier, Garkov had observed, indeed, that, just for the "Schengen system", Internet "Searches", which, already were More than "4 Billions" on "2016", had Grown "during 2017" for "+ 25%". And, "the Data Shared" until the "End of 2017", grew up to "+35% More" than before, (etc).


+ In Addition, as he had just noted in his speech at EU Parliament's Commission against Terrorism, earlier this (Thursday) Morning, "for EURO-DAC" (the Asylum Seekers-related EU Information System), "since 2017, All Europe is InterConnected".

 

eulisagency_ceo_garkov_in_ep_antiterror_ctee_eurofora_400 


- And, "from March" 2018, "we shall have also the Bio-Metric Data", with "Important", "Efficiency" and "Sophisticated Tools" for EU's "Coast-Guards", etc.


=> So that, in Total, there are Emerging several "New (EU) Capabilities" : F.ex., "on Alpha-Numeric Data, Bio-Metric Data, New EURODAC Regulation, Inter-Operability", etc., EU-LISAgency's Head resumed in fine.

-----------------------------------
PRESIDENT NATHALIE GRIESBECK
------------------------------------------------------------

Garkov's Hearing Today had been organized by the President of EU Parliament's Commission on Terrorism, French Liberal MEP Nathalie Griesbeck, from Nearby Lorraine area of Strasbourg's new "Great East" Region.

 

president_of_eu_parliaments_committee_on_terrorism_mep_nathalie_griesbeck__agg_eurofora_400


- President Griesbeck, greeting afterwards, with a smile, "Eurofora", (while rushing for the imminent Plenary's Votes at the Hemicycle), told us that she intends yet to Carefully Prepare all the concrete Issues which may be Discussed at some Long and Important Next Sessions, more than a Month Later in Brussels : On 21-22 March 2018, (eve of EU's Heads of State/Government Summit of 22-23 March, there).


- At any case, our Committee is, in general, entrusted with a Wide Mission :  To Examine both eventual Flaws and Problems, as well as Best Practices and possible Needs and/or Proposals in order to Ameliorate the Efficiency of EU's Fight against Terrorism, as she reminded earlier Today.

 

 ep_terror_ctee_pres_griesbeck_eurofora_400

 

Significantly, Griesbeck had Started EU Parliament's Anti-Terrorism Committee's Hearings in Strasbourg, at the Beginning of this (Thursday) Morning, by a Joint Exchange of views with MEPs by Germany's and France's Top Police Officers :


- Jurgen Ebner, of the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), Head of the Central Information Management's Department, and Jean-Jacques Colombi, from the French National Police's Judicial Directorate, Head of International Relations' division.

Unfortunately, that Interesting, Cross-fire Hearing, concerning the 2 Biggest EU Countries, (which obviously prepared also the subsequent, EU-LISAgency's CEO Krum Garkov's Hearing), was inevitably placed "In Camera", (i.e. behind Closed Doors for Journalists, including "Eurofora", who had to Wait discussing between collegues at EU Parliament's adjacent corridors), so that the Informations exchanged on that important occasion with MEPs, (which as we Witnessed, durated Longer than Scheduled), remain Confidential.

 

eu_parliament_on_its_counterterrorism_committee_meeting_eurofora_400

 

(../..)

 

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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

***

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