The European Union (EU) is planning to assemble an independent intelligence body of its own in “an urgent response” to the recent revelation that the US has been spying on EU officials as well as European citizens.
The planned apparatus, which will be set up by owning and operating spy drones, surveillance satellites and espionage aircraft by the EU itself, will be used for “internal security and defence purposes,” the Telegraph reported, citing “officials.”
The European Commission has issued a 17-page report, proposing some concrete steps that would encourage pan-European defense cooperation.
“Maintaining and developing defense capabilities to meet current and future challenges in spite of severe budget constraints will only be possible if far-reaching political and structural reforms are made. The time has come to take ambitious action,” the Commission’s report said.
One of the actions suggested in the report is funding a pre-commercial procurement scheme to acquire prototypes of some technologies – including drones.
The full list of technology candidates includes equipment to detect chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives threats (CBRNE), “communication equipment based on software defined radio technology,” and remotely-piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), otherwise known as drones.
According to European Union sources, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the European Commission and France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland all are in favor of the plans.
“It would be alarming if the EU – opaque, unaccountable, bureaucratic and desperately trying to turn itself into a federal state – were to try and create an intelligence gathering capability of its own. This is something that we need to stop in its tracks before it is too late,” said Van Orden.
However, plans to create the EU’s own security and spying agency and employ spy drones and satellites for “internal and external security policies” – which would reportedly include police intelligence, internet surveillance, protection of external borders, and maritime overwatch – will likely raise concerns that the EU is creating its own version of the NSA.