Internal security: Council documents on information exchange, foreign fighters, counter-terrorism, internet, PNR, organised crime

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On 8 November the Council of the EU's internal security committee (COSI) met to discuss the development and implementation of a host of new and existing measures: information exchange and interoperability between EU and national databases; counter-terrorism efforts; the 'EU Internet Forum' and Europol's Internet Referral Unit; the EU policy cycle on organised crime; and the Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive. Here we provide the majority of documents discussed by participants in the meeting, along with other relevant information.


The agenda for the meeting was as follows:

1. Adoption of the agenda
2. Information exchange and interoperability
3. Fight against terrorism
4. State of play of the EU Internet Forum and the Internet Referral Unit
5. EU policy cycle
6. EU-PNR (Passenger Name Record) Directive: State of play of the implementation
7. Europol report "Geographical hotspots for crime in the EU"
8. Any other business

The relevant discussion documents, where available, are included below:

1. Adoption of the agenda

General Secretariat of the Council: Provisional agenda (13873/16, 28 October 2016, pdf)



2. Information Exchange and Interoperability

a) Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management, including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area
b) High Level Expert Group on Information Systems and Interoperability
c) Evolution of the Schengen Information System (SIS): additional functionalities


Presidency: Roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions in the Justice and Home Affairs area: State of play of its implementation (13554/16, 26 October 2016, pdf)

Presidency: Information Exchange and Interoperability (13770/16, 4 November 2016, pdf):

"The Roadmap, aimed at enhancing information exchange and information management including interoperability solutions, sets out fifty specific and practical short- and medium-term actions and long-term orientations."

And see: Foreign Fighters - Enhancing the information exchange (13777/16, 4 November 2016, pdf). Includes 'Conclusions of the meeting G13 – Foreign Terrorist Fighters – Enhancing the information exchange':

"Senior officials and experts representing the most affected Member States, the CTC and representatives of the Commission met on 9 September 2016 in Brussels.

Delegations discussed the difficulties related to the feeding of the EU data systems (Europol and SIS). During the openhearted debate delegations shared national good practices, referred to the elimination of legislative and/or technical obstacles at national level, and highlighted remaining difficulties."



3. Fight against terrorism

- Implementation of the statement of the Members of the European Council of 12 February 2015, the JHA Council Conclusions of 20 November 2015, and the Conclusions of the European Council of 18 December 2015
- Implementation of the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions of 9 February 2015 on the EU CT external action


EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator: Implementation of the counter-terrorism agenda set by the European Council (13627/16, 4 November 2016, pdf):

"This report covers progress against the conclusions on counter-terrorism (CT) agreed by the Members of the European Council on 12 February 2015. It takes into account the CT related conclusions of the European Council of 17 and 18 December 2015 and the JHA Council of 20 November 2015 and the Joint statement on the terrorist attacks in Brussels on 22 March 2016."

See also: the detailed 50-page summary in the addendum (13627/16 ADD 1, pdf) and an updated version of the main document (14260/16, 11 November 2016, pdf).

The second point was based on an unavailable presentation by the European External Action Service.



4. State of play of the EU Internet Forum and the Internet Referral Unit: information by the Commission and Europol


Presidency: EU Internet Forum: Ministerial meeting on 8 December 2016 - next steps (13771/16, pdf)

Includes (emphasis added):

"Europol stated that the number of referrals from Member States is still low and that more staff is needed for the IRU (seconded from Member States). Europol will look to bring law enforcement partners together over the coming months to share best practices in tackling terrorists' modus operandi online; how to keep pace with the distribution of terrorist material across different platforms (…) is one of the most pressing issues to address. Looking into available technology (inter alia through the use of algorithms) to speed up the process of removal is another crucial matter."



5. EU Policy Cycle:

– Independent evaluation EU Policy Cycle: interim report: information by the Commission
– Funding: strategic guidance future funding and state of play mini call
– Joint Action Days 2017 and results of the JADs 2016


Interim findings of the evaluation study on the EU Policy Cycle for serious international and organised crime 2013-2017 (13606/16) and EU Policy Cycle: Future funding and Joint Action Days 2017 (13555/16) unavailable.

But see: EU Policy Cycle: Future funding (13922/16, pdf) and: Policy cycle on serious and organised crime: "illegal immigration" report and other documentation (Statewatch News Online, 29 July 2016)



6. EU-PNR (Passenger Name Record) Directive: State of play of the implementation: information by the Commission


Presidency: Directive (EU) 2016/681 on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime - Implementation of the PNR Directive (13836/1/16 REV 1, 8 November 2016, pdf)

Sets out numerous issues regarding the implementation of the PNR Directive, which requires each Member State to set up its own Passenger Information Unit (PIU) for receiving data from airline companies (or, alternatively, one or more Member States can decide to share a PIU). The PIU is responsible for analysing passenger data, e.g. by comparing it to various profiles.

From the document:

"With a view to supporting national implementation efforts, the Commission organised two dedicated meetings in Brussels (on 1 June and 28 September 2016) on a wide range of issues pertaining to the implementation of the Directive, including issues of legal interpretation of the Directive itself. A third meeting will be convened on 12 December 2016. By the end of November 2016, the Commission will present an implementation plan with specific milestones. In the context of comitology, it will also convene meetings in order to prepare the implementing act on common protocols and supported data formats to be used by air carriers for their data transfers. To that end, it will table a proposal by the end of the year.

At the COSI meeting on 8 November 2016, the Commission also informed the Committee about additional funding (subject to approval), it intends to make available to advance the implementation of the PNR."

Member States are of the opinion that the Council's Working Party on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX) should serve as a forum for overseeing implementation of the Directive.



7. Europol report "Geographical hotspots for crime in the EU": presentation by Europol





8. Any other business:

– Heads of JHA Agencies' meeting on 14 November 2016
– Preparation of the JHA Senior Officials meeting EU-OIPC Interpol, 28 November 2016

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