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Eurobriefs - The latest from Brussels


European security police planned

The European Union aims to have its first-ever internal security policy in force by the end of 2009. The proposal includes: a centralised EU ID card register; internet and satellite surveillance systems; and biometric and risk profiling. Jacques Barrot, the European Justice and Security Commissioner, said, “National frontiers should no longer restrict our activities.”

An EU official explained these plans will need powers given in the Lisbon Treaty, adding that “The British and some others will not like it as it moves policy to the EU.” The Treaty creates a new Standing Committee for Internal Security to coordinate policy between national forces and EU bodies like Europol, the Frontex borders agency, the European Gendarmerie Force and the Brussels intelligence-sharing Joint Situation Centre.

Not voting works

The EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, expressed his disappointment at the low turnout in the EU election, saying voter apathy bothers him more than eurosceptics in the European Parliament.

No euro here

A ComRes poll reveals that just 28 per cent of us think that we should join the euro, with 68 per cent against. The poll also found that 88 per cent of us want a referendum before giving the EU any new powers.

The penny drops

EUROPHILE John Monks, General Secretary of the European TUC, has admitted, “The European Commission lacks credibility to regulate the market. It has encouraged flexibility and mobility of workers at the expense of security and quality of work”.

Latvia told to cut budget

EU Economic Commissioner Joaquin Almunia has insisted that Latvia must implement and sustain budget cuts over the long term to get further loans from the EU and the IMF and avoid national default. The cuts include 20 per cent in all public sector workers’ pay, 10 per cent in pensions and a 70 per cent cut in the future pensions of those still in work.