Germany: Laschet faces 'battle' to be chancellor says expert
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The leader of the CDU, Mrs Merkel’s party, is hoping for the expansion of the European police authority Europol into the “European FBI”. Mr Laschet, who hopes to replace Angela Merkel as Chancellor at the upcoming federal elections, wrote in German daily Handelsblatt: “This moment is a wake-up call for European foreign and security policy. It reveals far more than the question of whether the European states are themselves capable of defending an airport.
“It raises the question of how the EU can and will keep its security promise in the future.”
He continued: “If we proclaim the renewal of the security promise, then we have to look at people’s everyday lives and economic activity.
“Both of these take place digitally to a large extent. A well-defended state must also be able to defend itself in the digital world, which is why we have to think more digitally about internal security.
“This includes, on the one hand, protecting critical infrastructures that enable our daily lives, and, on the other hand, preventing cybercrime and effective online criminal prosecution.
“In doing so, we must create European opportunities for cyber self-defence and develop Europol in the cyber sector into a European FBI in order to react in a networked manner to digital threats that are often harbingers of analogue crimes.”
“We have to think about people’s everyday security in a European way,” he added.
The Chancellor hopeful claimed Germany and France should set the pace for a “security union”.
He will discuss the issue in his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Mr Laschet is also campaigning for the creation of an “EU Commissioner for foreign climate policy” – analogous to the US government, which has appointed ex-foreign minister John Kerry as the special commissioner for climate change.
The Franco-German plan was not met with enthusiasm across the EU, however.
In response, Spanish MEP Hermann Tertsch told Express.co.uk: “I would argue very strongly against such adventures. Seeing how Macron treats his own people and how Merkel has neglected the interest of the security of the German nationals with her ideological behaviour with disastrous effects, it would be very scary to have an supranational police which is able to violate sovereignty of other members.
“For the same reason I strongly oppose this renewed ridiculous appeal to create a ‘European army’.
“What we need is countries with awareness in security and defence and a real budget for that.
“And with strong national armies we can have a strong alliance to be effective in defence.
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“Not a pan-European army under German control or German-French control -what a nightmare!- which would trample all our national rights.”
Croatian MEP Ivan Sincic also told this website: “There are already serious violations of human rights because of digital green passports in EU and in this context an idea of a big European police and investigation force would only increase the fear of a police union or a police superstate.
“Especially when it is led by Macron and the Merkel establishment. No more bad common policies.
“Why do these people never speak about real reform in EU funds spending and audit – especially in new MSs?
“For example, the money that comes to Croatia is controlled by only a few people in AFCOS that have no real competence.
“It is because political control of MSs states is much more important to the Brussels establishment than anti-corruption.
“The control of the political project is their only imperative.”
The CDU leader is not the first politician in Germany to have called for a European FBI.
In April, SPD politician Boris Pistorius said that only a digitally upgraded and Europe-wide police force could fight international crime – especially cyber crime.
“I call for a European FBI,” he said in an interview with the chairman of the Interior Committee in the European Parliament, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, and the EU counter-terrorism coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove.
“Only a digitally upgraded police force operating across the EU can effectively fight international crime, especially cyber crime,” he added.
A European FBI was also already in the CDU manifesto, as confirmed by MEP Manfred Weber back in June.
He said: “We stand for a strong Europe with – the common fight against cancer with a Europe-wide research offensive – a European FBI to counter terrorism, against industrial espionage and against tax evasion.”
And in July, German Green MEP Sven Giegold also called for such proposal, in response to the assassination of Dutch reporter Peter R. de Vries.
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