ICJ submission to the EU Internal Security Strategy consultation

The International Commission of Jurists submitted today its contribution to the European Commission in the framework of the public consultation on the renewal of the EU Internal Security Strategy (“ISS”).

The contribution provides recommendations on two questions posed by the consultation, relating to (1) actions at EU level in the next five years, and (2) what is needed to safeguard European citizens when developing future EU security actions. Its starting point for this paper is the need to give continued and increased priority to protection of human rights and the rule of law, which must be central to the activities and policies of the strategy as well as security objectives themselves.

The first European Union’s ISS (“Towards a European Security Model”) was adopted in 2010 by the European Council, following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the Stockholm Programme in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.

In this submission, the ICJ made the following recommendations.

  • The future ISS must be centred on human rights and the rule of law. In the context of a wider EU fundamental rights strategy, it must include protection of fundamental rights and the rule of law as a security objective, and must strive to ensure compliance with fundamental rights and principles of rule of law in all security related laws, policies and practices.
  • The future ISS should clarify its objectives on “border management”, ensuring that issues of migration, including asylum, are not represented mainly as security issues, but as matters primarily concerned with the protection of human rights. The EU must ensure better protection of human rights in “border management”, and this should be reflected in the ISS.
  • Data protection of all individuals subject to EU jurisdiction and/or affected by EU policies must be prioritized under the ISS, since large-scale violation of privacy rights poses a serious threat to the protection of rights of privacy and data protection, and therefore to security, within the EU.
  • The ISS should critically evaluate its counter-terrorism strategies and the counterterrorism activities of the Member States, ensuring that fundamental rights and the rule of law are protected, in particular in regard to securing accountability and reparation for complicity in rendition and secret detention practices.
  • The ISS should also include a security objective relating to justice and the rule of law, as a basis for further EU legislative protection for fair trial rights.
  • The proposed European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) can play a potentially significant in fighting corruption. It will remain important to clarify the specific aim of the EPPO to ensure safeguards for human rights and the rule of law, including by providing appropriate guarantees for respect of fundamental rights.

EU-ISSSubmission-Advocacy-LegalSubmission-2014-eng (full text in PDF)


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