In the light of recent terror attacks in Europe, EU interior ministers convened virtually on Friday to thrash out strategies on how to minimise terror threats.
The discussions would centre around the protection of the bloc’s external borders, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said before the beginning of the meeting.
“We will try to flesh out as much common ground as possible in the discussion, especially with regards to the protection of external borders,” he said.
This would also relate to the Europe-wide exchange of information on people posing a potential threat, he said.
In a similar vein, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said the primary goal was to protect the EU’s borders.
“That’s not so much about having more police men or women or sniffing dogs on the ground.
“It is [about] we have more sniffing dogs on the internet because that is where we can send the alarms and where we can prevent [attacks],” she said.
The ministers will also likely discuss the role of encrypted messengers, such as WhatsApp or Signal, in terrorist threats.
Seehofer said he would be in favour of governments obtaining access to encrypted communication. “We would need this,” he said.
“I also know of the constraints related to data protection and fundamental rights but this cannot lead to a situation in which we don’t even think about how to get on the tracks of very dangerous people,” he said.
In the afternoon, ministers will also debate the controversial EU migration pact – initially set to be the only item on Friday’s agenda. (dpa/NAN)