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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

Parašė ACM
Thursday, February 08, 2018
eu_schengen_administration_ceo_to_agg_eurofora_400

*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 !"



-------------------------------------------
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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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

imag0082_400

Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

***

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