Tuesday

27th Feb 2024

EU capitals ignore Brussels' questions about rendition flights

The European Commission is set to criticise EU governments for failing to reply to a questionnaire, which, among other issues, aimed at shedding more light on CIA activities in Europe.

So far, only Finland, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain responded to Brussels' call for clarity.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Only Finland, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain responded to Brussels' requests for information on rendition flights (Photo: EUobserver)

"We will take stock after Easter and then send a reminder to those who have not replied yet," commission spokesperson Friso Roscam Abbing told journalists, adding that no member state has informed Brussels why they have failed to respond.

The EU's executive body sent the questionnaire to all EU capitals on 15 December, with a 15 March deadline. The move followed a report from the European Parliament alleging that the US routinely flies terror suspects via Europe to overseas prison camps where some of them face torture.

EU governments were asked to involve "all relevant national bodies and departments, including those in charge of protection of human rights", so that Brussels could put together the fullest possible picture of member states' anti-terrorism activities.

"Its purpose is to acquire factual and concrete information on the application of member states' anti-terrorism measures, their effectiveness and compliance with fundamental rights," the commission spokesperson said about the questionnaire.

He added: "This information will help us to identify possible difficulties and needs where necessary, of EU action."

But EU states are traditionally reluctant to share security information, with the commission currently having "no legal power" to force them to do so.

"The best we can do is to apply political pressure," the spokesperson said, adding that the situation will change once the EU's new treaty comes to force next year and a significant proportion of the justice and home affairs dossier will no longer be under the exclusive power of national governments.

Poland awaits EU-funds approval as Reynders visits Warsaw

Restoring the rule of law in Poland to unlock EU funds after the Law and Justice era marks a major challenge for Donald Tusk's new government, as EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders will see during a Warsaw visit on Friday

Latest News

  1. MEPs slap three-month ban on foreign ads ahead of EU polls
  2. EU nature restoration law approved after massive backlash
  3. Memo from Munich — EU needs to reinvent democracy support
  4. For Ukraine's sake, pass the EU due diligence directive
  5. All of Orbán's MPs back Sweden's Nato entry
  6. India makes first objection to EU carbon levy at WTO summit
  7. Angry farmers block Brussels again, urge fix to 'unfair' prices
  8. Luxembourg denies blind spot on Nato security vetting

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us