The measures to be rolled out over the next 16 months will help Member States address vulnerabilities exposed by recent terrorist attacks and will make a real difference in enhancing security. The measures will support Member States in protecting public spaces and close the space in which terrorists can operate by further restricting access to explosive precursors and improving cross border access to financial information.
The Commission is also proposing to support law enforcement and judicial authorities that encounter encryption by criminals in criminal investigations. The measures presented today include the next steps on countering radicalisation and reinforcing the EU's external action on counter-terrorism including through Europol. The Commission recommended to the Council of Ministers to authorise the opening of negotiations for a revised Passenger Name Records Agreement with Canada.
Beyond these practical measures for the short term, to be taken over the next 16 months, the Commission is working towards a future European Intelligence Unit, as announced by President Juncker as part of his vision for the European Union by 2025.
Preparation of European Council
The College prepared the October European Council (19-20 October) which will mark an important step on the roadmap towards a more united, stronger and more democratic Union as put forward by President Juncker in his State of the Union address.
EU leaders will discuss a range of topics including migration, the Digital Single Market, defence and security, external relations, the future of Europe and article 50 negotiations with the UK. Commission's Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier debriefed the College on the state of play after the 5th round of negotiations and the dinner with Prime Minister May a few days ago.
Addressing natural disasters in Europe
The College also discussed the numerous recent natural disasters that Member States are facing across Europe. The College insisted on the need for a stronger collective European response although the primary responsibility for prevention and response to such disasters lies with Member States. President Juncker has tasked the Commissioners in charge to develop further proposals on strengthening the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism and crisis response.
First annual review report of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield
The Commission published the first annual report on the functioning of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The report shows that in its first year of operation this framework has ensured adequate protection and safeguards for personal data transferred from the EU to the U.S.. All the necessary administrative structures and procedures have been put in place in the U.S., including new redress possibilities for Europeans. Safeguards regarding access to personal data by U.S. public authorities are in place. However, the implementation of the framework can be improved further. The report sets out several recommendations on how to achieve this, including a more proactive monitoring of companies' compliance with their Privacy Shield obligations by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Commission also asks the U.S. to appoint as soon as possible a permanent Privacy Shield Ombudsperson, as well as to ensure that the empty posts are filled on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.