Ensuring that the European Union has a high level of security is the main aim of the strengthened Internal Security Fund (ISF). Its €1.931 billion budget for 2021-2027 should serve to prevent and combat terrorism and radicalisation, serious and organised crime, and cybercrime, as well as to assist and protect victims. Co-legislators agreed that it should also contribute to preparing for and managing “security incidents, risks and crises”.
More specifically, the new Internal Security Fund will focus on:
- improving the exchange of information among and within competent authorities of the member states and relevant EU bodies, such as Europol, and also with third countries and international organisations if necessary;
- intensifying cross-border cooperation, including joint operations in relation to terrorism and serious and organised crime with a cross-border dimension;
- enabling member states to combat and prevent crime, terrorism and radicalisation, as well as managing security-related incidents, risks and crises.
No military actions covered and no money for coercive equipment
The ISF shall not finance actions limited to maintaining public order at national level or those with a military or defence purpose nor will the money go to purchasing coercive equipment, including weapons, ammunition, explosives and riot sticks, except for training.
Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE), rapporteur, said: “The attacks on Nice, Dresden and Vienna have shown once again that intelligence authorities hold valuable information to effectively fight serious and organised crime and terrorism. The cross-border nature of these crimes requires a coordinated response and the cooperation of all competent authorities. In their programmes, member states should address the EU’s priorities and laws in the area of security, but also country-specific deficiencies such as in the area of corruption.”
Once the text is finalised at technical level, it will have to be formally adopted by both the Parliament and the Council of Ministers.