The European Union is stepping up efforts to build an enhanced pan-European system of security and surveillance which critics have described as “dangerously authoritarian”.
Civil liberties groups say the proposals would create an EU ID card register, internet surveillance systems, satellite surveillance, automated exit-entry border systems operated by machines reading biometrics and risk profiling systems.
Europe’s justice ministers will hold talks on the “domestic security policy” and surveillance network proposals, known in Brussels circles as the “Stockholm programme”, on July 15 with the aim of finishing work on the EU’s first ever internal security policy by the end of 2009.
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Jacques Barrot, the European justice and security commissioner, yesterday publicly declared that the aim was to “develop a domestic security strategy for the EU”, once regarded as a strictly national “home affairs” area of policy.
“National frontiers should no longer restrict our activities,” he said.
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Mark Francois, Conservative spokesman on Europe, has demanded “immediate clarity on where the government stands on this”.
“These are potentially dangerous proposals which could interfere in Britain’s internal security,” he said.