The measures likely to be the most controversial are:
- Data retention: legislation will be agreed mandating telecoms companies to retain details of all telephone calls, e-mails and web traffic for a minimum period. An earlier proposal on this was overwhelmingly rejected by the Parliament in June 2005 (see EurActiv 7 June 2005) and the Parliament is adamant that it must be fully involved in any new decision. Mr Clarke would not confirm this. He said that a framework decision on the substance would be hammered out in Council by the end of October. At the same time, the Commission would come forward with a proposal for a directive: it is not clear whether this would be under the first pillar of the EU Treaty, giving Parliament co-decision, or under the third pillar where Council has the final say.
- Strategy to counter radicalisation and recruitment: Commissioner Frattini explained that the causes of terrorism must be ‘eradicated.’ So far little work has been done on this very sensitive subject and exactly what is meant and how it will be done is as yet unclear.
- Strengthening of the visa information system and the Schengen information system: civil rights organisations are very concerned about the amount and type of information to be kept on these databases and the question of who will have access to the data.
- Common standards for ID cards: there are reports that ultimately the UK will push for biometric details in all ID cards (as in the current UK proposal).
- biometrics details to be given in all visa applications as part of the strategy to strengthen external borders
Other measures, to be in place by December 2005, are:
- framework decision on European evidence warrant;
- a data protection policy to be developed in tandem with the retention of telecoms data;
- further measures on exchange of information between police and judicial authorities;
- combating terrorist financing including implementation of the 3rd money laundering directive, measures to prevent charities being used to raise terrorist funds and asset freezing powers;
- enhancing the role of SitCen (the Council body co-ordinating intelligence and police services in the EU);
- protection of civil infrastructure;
- common procedures for response to and management of terrorist attacks especially if more than one member state is involved.
The Commission also gave over its weekly meeting to the problem of terrorism. Stating that terrorism was the main issue on which citizens wanted a stronger European lead, President Barroso outlined the following:
- proposal for a directive on retention of telecoms data by September 2005;
- Council decision on cross border police co-operation by 20 July;
- Communication on improving legislation on tracing, stocking and marketing explosives before the summer break.