Bring mass surveillance back on the EU agenda

At springtime last year the European Parliament was conducting hearings om mass surveillance. In parts, it was rather thrilling and tense. The hearings ended with a resolution, where the MEP:s stated (in a rather vague way) that they are ill at ease with what is going on.

Formally, they could do nothing more — as national security does not fall under EU competence.

But informally, it was important that the peoples elected representatives tried to get to grips with what is going on.

Then came the European elections, a new parliament was elected and mass surveillance was not an issue on the agenda anymore.

It’s about time to bring some new life to this issue, on the EU level.

Even though the European Parliament cannot interfere with national security — it has the authority to make statements when it comes to human rights. (The right to privacy is considered to be a human right, according to binding european statues.)

And the European Commission (the only EU institution that can submit real proposals) is formally the “guardian of the treaties” — including the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Also, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights can uphold our civil liberties, as stated in the documents above.

The problems with mass surveillance are still the same as a year ago. As a matter of fact new national laws in some EU member states have made things worse since then.

We need to figure out how to apply renewed pressure on our EU politicians when it comes to mass surveillance. And some judicial activism wouldn’t hurt either.


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