Thursday

17th Aug 2017

UK's next EU commissioner 'highly motivated'

  • Security is a top issue in Belgium and France in the wake of recent terrorist attacks (Photo: Reuters)

Britain's designated EU commissioner for security Julian King says he is "highly motivated" for the job.

In a letter sent to the European parliament ahead of a grilling from MEPs on Monday (12 September), King said his big priorities for the security portfolio would be "to strengthen our defences against terrorism and organised crime, and to build our resilience".

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He was appointed to the post following the departure of EU financial services commissioner Jonathan Hill in the wake of the June UK referendum to exit the EU.

EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker created and gave the new security portfolio to King in early August in a move that surprised some given the UK opt-out on EU justice and home affairs laws.

The EU parliament, in its list of questions to King, did not ask anything related to the eventual departure.

The commission presented its broad internal security policy last April and set aside some €4 billion up until 2020 to implement its strategy.

It includes everything from cutting terrorist access to finance to cybersecurity and information sharing among EU national authorities.

King, a former UK ambassador to France, said he also wanted to implement existing instruments "to the full" including the controversial sharing of airline passenger details.

The EU passenger name records (PNR) agreement has been billed by defenders as a tool to crack down on foreign fighters and criminals.

The agreement has been heavily promoted by France.

Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, personally lobbied EU lawmakers in the lead up to the agreement's adoption in April.

Cazeneuve also pushed the issue in a joint internal security strategy published with his German counterpart, Thomas de Maiziere, in late August.

Both men want the agreement up and running in each member state. They also want data collected for all flights taken inside Europe.

But last week, the advocate-general of the European Court of Justice said a similar agreement with Canada violated people's fundamental rights to privacy.

The non-binding opinion is likely to factor into the Court's final verdict, which may then bear wider import on the EU's own PNR system.

The German-Franco bid also calls for an EU-wide identification management system and a greater ease of access to data hosted by Internet service providers.

UK gets top security role in EU commission

Julian King is set to become EU commissioner in charge of launching the "security union" - the fight against terrorism, radicalisation, organised crime, and cybercrime.

King to become UK's last EU commissioner

British diplomat put forward "intelligent" security plan to a half-empty EP committee, but refused to speculate on Brexit in his three-hour hearing.

News in Brief

  1. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  2. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  3. Russian power most feared in Europe
  4. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  5. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  6. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns
  7. Danish police to investigate misuse of EU fishing rules
  8. German constitutional court questions ECB's €2tn spending

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides