COUNCIL SECURITY PLAN: background to the "Solana Decision"
01 November 2000
Statewatch applied to the Council of the European Union for copies of the documents underlying the "Solana Decision" in July on access to EU documents - SN 3328/00 (1st draft) and SN 3328/1/00 (REV I, the second draft). The Council's Working Party on Information agreed to release the second draft (SN 3328/1/00) reproduced below. However, the Working Party was completely split over the decision of "the majority of delegations" to refuse access to the first draft - the Council split 8 votes to 7, the biggest division in the Council over access to documents for three years.
In favour of releasing the document were: Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom
Against the release of the document were: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and Portugal
Statewatch was leaked a copy of the second draft SN 3328/1/00 in July.
Much of the document is concerned with physical security. However, it also sets out the changes to the 1993 Decision on public access made by the Council in July (the "Solana Decision"). It says the the exclusion of whole categories of documents on defence and foreign policy had to be included in the new code of access now being discussed by the Commission, Council and European Parliament:
"A similar exception should be included in the proposed regulation on transparency currently under discussion. The possibility of establishing specific rules to cover police and judicial co-operation is being studied."
Thus contrary to the "spin" of Council spokespersons over the summer this was not a "temporary" decision but one which will be included in the Council's "common position" on the new code which is expected to be agreed on 20 November.
General Secretariat of the Council, Private Office
30 June 2000
SN 3328/1/00 REV 1
NOTE FOR THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE
Subject: COUNCIL SECURITY PLAN
To establish the future security policy of the Council with a view to:
- providing a safe and secure environment for the staff of the General Secretariat of the Council (GSC) and for all Council activities, in particular those related to the common European security and defence policy (ESDP)
- establishing a coherent security approach, based on clearly defined standards and procedures, to cover personnel, physical and information technology (IT) security
- providing a framework which will facilitate the conclusion of security agreements as necessary.
To define specific security programmes identifying the measures to be taken so that the GSC can meet its security objectives.
To establish audit and review procedures to ensure that the security programmes can be adjusted to respond to changes in security requirements.
II. GSC Security Policy
The GSC security policy and its implementation instruments must provide a framework to ensure:
- the protection of staff and other occupants of the buildings, of property, assets and resources
- the confidentiality of classified information and the availability and integrity of all information kept or produced by the institution in whatever form
- the continuity of the Council's activity.
On the basis of this security policy, standards, procedures and practices, commensurate with the value of the information or physical assets they are meant to protect, will be defined. When applied, the policy will provide all individuals concerned with a clear understanding of their responsibility and accountability.
A draft security policy for the GSC will be circulated as document SN 3328/00 ADD 1. The Secretary General will adopt the GSC security policy.
III. Lines of action
1. General comments
Improving the overall level of security at the Council is a large-scale exercise, which can only be carried out in steps and which requires action - in most cases at<