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Αρχική 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

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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.  

------------------------------------------
+ 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).


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


 => 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.

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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 official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

smerkem_400

- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

***

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