Tuesday

19th Jun 2018

Echelon committee suspicions grow

The Echelon committee delegation set up by the European Parliament travelled to Washington last week with the objective of allowing the US to respond to the numerous allegations made about the Echelon system.

However, five different US institutions cancelled the meetings at the very last minute. They all sent faxes nearly at the same time with very similar wordings, which gave the committee an impression they just did not want to meet.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

“The fact that they cancelled the meetings has increased our degree of suspician,” said Carlos Coelho, chairman of the European Parliament Temporary Committee on Echelon, at a press conference in Strasbourg today, Wednesday.

“Political conclusions will obviously be drawn from this experiences, but I believe that it was the United States which lost out on a valuable opportunity to try to set the records straight,” said Mr Coelho.

A press statement released by the Echelon committee says, "we are therefore obviously concerned and dismayed that meetings with the State Department - which has responsibility for EU-US relations and which had a representative present at every single meeting of our Committee since last July – declined to meet us under the pretext that they were not responsible for the issue. Equally, we were very concerned by the refusal of the Advocacy Centre of the Department of Commerce to meet with us because we have reasons to believe that they could have helped us in our enquiries on a number of specific points.”

The US press has accused the delegation of spending the tax payers' money on a very disorganised trip, but Mr Coelho said that the meetings were well planned and they even sent a person to Washington to organise the meetings on time.

A draft report will be organised at the end of the month and will be presented by Socialist MEP Gerhard Schmid. The Echelon Committee was set up by the European Parliament to investigate allegations that the US global telecommunications system Echelon is being used as a spying system for industrial espionage.

Echelon is run by the National Security Agency and is believed to be used by the secret services of the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand to intercept all telecommunications.

US administration refused to meet MEPs

A delegation from the Temporary Committee on Echelon, led by its chairman Carlos Coelho, abandoned a visit to Washington as Bush administrations had refused to meet them.

EU summit set to outsource asylum

Draft conclusions of the EU summit seen by this website suggest setting up "regional disembarkation platforms", possibly in countries near Libya, to separate asylum seekers and economic migrants.

EU states set to back some asylum reform laws

Efforts to reform 'Dublin', a regulation that determines who is responsible for asylum applications, remain mired in controversy. But other less contentious reforms that make up EU asylum laws have already reached provisional agreements.

Opinion

The Baltic 'Big Sea' strategy

The Baltic Sea is almost an inland European lake - it borders Norway, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Kaliningrad and Russia. It also has an EU strategy - and an action plan.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  3. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  4. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  6. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  10. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  11. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us